Since it first came on the media and entertainment scene in 2012, New York-based DevSpark has had a well-defined business model: design and build digital content companies the best software applications possible to support their businesses.
And the company has quite the resume: it’s built large-scale consumer-facing applications for News Corp; worked with the technology arm of Major League Baseball, MLBAM, to revamp a system used to handle e-commerce transactions for every team’s website; built a dashboard to facilitate the live streaming of hundreds of events per week for a premier sports broadcaster over the network of one the country’s largest mobile carriers; and is currently in a long-term engagement with Telemundo to optimize their media management and digital supply chain systems.
Yet, while the DevSpark name has served the company well over the years, the changing needs of the company’s clients and the evolving offerings of the company itself have necessitated both a name change and a comprehensive rebranding effort, according to Chris Cali, Co-Founder and Managing Partner. With expanded offerings in product strategy consulting and UX design, the name belied the company’s actual capabilities.
Say hello to Spark Digital.
“We’re thrilled to have a name and brand that reflect who we really are as company,” said company co-founder and managing partner, Chris Cali. “We believe this change will help us communicate more effectively with our clients, recruit more top talent and support the ongoing growth of the company.”
Application development services have long been the company’s main draw for top tier clients (just ask WWE or the Associated Press). But the company has seen its product strategy consulting and user experience design services become increasingly important to its business model, including recent projects with Dow Jones, MLBAM and AMC Health among others. “There are scenarios where our clients have well-defined requirements and designs and we can work closely with them to develop the product. However, we realized that our team is in the unique position to get involved earlier to help define the product, write requirements, architect and design the solution prior to development,” Cali said.
The new Spark Digital name reflects the company’s shift toward being a full-service option for media and entertainment companies, fulfilling all the software development, design and consulting needs of clients, from concept through launch.
Chris Cali, Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Chris Cali, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Spark Digital
And the company has a mantra every service partner might want to adopt: “We’re on your team, and you’re on ours.”
The company’s track record backs up that mentality: the range of software products Spark Digital has built for its clients has covered every aspect of what companies need to manage today’s digital media supply chain. The company has helped clients strategize API management solutions; build long-lasting, branded consumer cross-platform applications; developed and implemented solutions that help make business sense of consumer data; and helped clients navigate the challenges of the many content management systems on the market.
The digital media supply chain — helping M&E clients navigate everything from digital asset management to contract fulfillment to supply chain analytics — may be in the DNA of the new Spark Digital, but so too is video player technology. “We believe that video players are more than just tools to deliver content and advertising, they’re also an important part of the user experience,” Cali said. “As veterans of this space, we bring deep knowledge of the vendor ecosystem, player and video CMS implementations and open source options. Over the years we’ve done ad-tech integrations, built mobile player SDKs and designed customer players.”
Part of what makes Spark Digital run is the depth of experience among the people the company brings in.
Spending the money needed to hire senior people — those who bring experience to the table, instead of trying to train people on the go — means new hires hit the ground running. Spark Digital’s senior team have previously been CEOs, CTOs and heads of product, allowing them to empathize with what clients go through, having been in the same position themselves.
With a new presence on the ground in Los Angeles, Spark Digital is hoping to extend further their support of media and entertainment companies on both coasts.