April 15, 2014 Last Updated 11:30 am

Gannett works with Brand Affinity Technologies to launch The USA TODAY Sports store

The Gannett newspaper USA Today has opened an online store for consumers where they can purchase sports photography. To launch the store, USA Today worked with Brand Affinity Technologies, a company that describes itself as “a technology and marketing services company focused on activating, engaging, and monetizing the FAN.”

USAT-sports-logoAmong the first photo offerings at The USA Today Sports store are a collection of more than 3,000 early-career photos of Muhammad Ali, all from the library of The Courier-Journal, the Gannett daily in Louisville, Kentucky (hometown of Muhammad Ali).

“We are always looking to provide our audience with new and meaningful ways to engage with our content,” said Dave Morgan, President of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group. “The USA TODAY Sports Store creates a great opportunity for fans who want to forever commemorate memorable moments in history involving their favorite teams and athletes, just as those moments were captured by USA TODAY Sports and USA TODAY Sports Images.”

Last month the store launched a series of photos for sale in partnership with Major League Soccer.

The move to monetize the photo libraries of newspapers is filled with irony – many newspapers are cutting back or even eliminating their photo departments, making reporters be their own photographers using smartphones. But it is not the newspapers themselves that see the value in these collections, but the outside firms that know how to monetize the content.

The new USA Today store, for instance, is not even housed on a USA Today URL, but is a few pages on www.Printroom.com, a site owned by Brand Affinity Technologies.

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