Two of the biggest sports events on the planet take place in the coming months, with the European football championships in Poland and Ukraine and the Olympics in London.
As the world's top athletes and footballers fine-tune their preparations, AFP has already begun its unrivalled, in-depth coverage, with sport -- a strategic priority for the agency -- set to take pride of place in the agency's output in the coming months.
AFP is sending 180 journalists to the Olympics in the British capital to provide comprehensive coverage of all the action and behind-the-scenes news.
In video, our Olympics special product will be launched on July 2, aiming to provide more than 1,000 videos in six languages using a dozen teams of video reporters assigned to cover the build-up to the Games as well as the personalities involved. Clients will receive daily schedules of all our coverage and comprehensive round-ups of all the day's events.
In photos, 70 AFP photographers from 24 countries around the world are flying in to provide up to 2,000 photos a day, while an unprecedented technical infrastructure has been put in place to ensure clients can access photos practically in real time. For example, a dozen remote-controlled cameras have been positioned at the bottom of the Olympics swimming pool and in the rafters to give a whole new perspective on one of the most-watched events at the Games..
In text, we will transmit between 400 to 500 stories a day in six languages (Arabic, English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish), using an expert team of reporters to provide insight and analysis of all events as well as the athletes themselves. As well as providing a daily run-down of the Olympics in figures, the reactions of key competitors and the low-down on what's going on behind-the-scenes, AFP's network of offices around the world will show how the Games are seen overseas.
The London Games will be the first time that web and mobile customers can monitor events in real time, with daily Live Reports in both English and French. The opening ceremony will also be covered by a Live Report in Spanish. "Rich media" articles, comprising weblinks and videos as well as Games-dedicated content, has been designed to enhance online news content. A la carte content includes results and comments as well as interactive Flash animations.
AFP Graphics will at the same time provide the results, key moments, winners and the overall medal table, while blogs focusing exclusively on the Games will be updated by AFP staff on the ground and offices around the world.
Euro 2012 :
Some 80 staff are being sent to Poland and Ukraine from both AFP and its German subsidiary SID, a market-leader in sports news.
The Euro 2012 special product was launched on 8 May, with 950 videos in six languages (Arabic, English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish) covering this major tournament. AFP video reporters will be operating in Poland and Ukraine and in countries where the event has a major following, as the teams battle it out to reach the final in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on July 1.
The agency's photographers have already been tracking the 16 teams who have made the finals since the competition draw was made last December. And when the tournament kicks off on June 8, we will have 22 photographers on the ground, reporting on all the matches and on daily events both on and off the pitch. AFP will be at the heart of Euro 2012. One photographer has been attached to each team and remote-controlled cameras will be placed in each goal and in the stands, giving a new perspective on the popular tournament.
In text, we will transmit more than 250 stories a day in English, French, German and Spanish, adding even more depth to the agency's already wide-ranging sports coverage. In addition to match previews, reports, team news and round-ups, we will provide the Euros in figures, with behind-the-scenes stories as well as the best reaction from players -- whether at press conferences or on Twitter.
France fans will for the first time be able to track the national team in real time on web and mobile platforms. Live Reports are also planned in English, French and Spanish from the quarter-final stages, right up to the showpiece finale to the first-ever major football competition behind the former Iron Curtain. Meanwhile, European-dedicated content will be added to the "sports" section of the Online News platform, with "rich media" documents comprising articles with videos and web links. It will also be possible to customise content selection, including results streams and live commentary.
Graphics will be available in every language providing all the results, key moments, matches and team news throughout the month-long event.
"The coverage of two events as long awaited as the Olympic Games and the Euro 2012 is another opportunity for AFP to cater to its clients with all the power of its international network," said AFP Chairman and Chief Executive Emmanuel Hoog. "Sports are a strategic priority for the Agency, which regularly demonstrates its editorial and technical performance in every discipline";, he added.