Spark Digital Targets Software Design, Development Challenges in Sports Media

The Sports Video Group is pleased to welcome Spark Digital as a corporate sponsor. The full-service provider of technology consulting, software design, and development services typically works with medium-size to large companies in the communications, media, and technology industries.

Distinguished by its experience and industry focus, the company hires people who already have a deep understanding of the digital-content ecosystem. Team members are fluent in the languages and technologies that enable the distribution, analysis, and monetization of content.

Spark Digital often partners with clients at the definition and design phases and sticks with them through the development, launch, and maintenance of the products it helps create. It serves some of the most innovative names in the industry, including The Associated Press, BAMTech, Brightcove, Dow Jones, Fox, Kaplan, Macmillan, MLBAM, Telemundo, Warner Bros., WWE, and Verizon.

“Our experience and expertise align well with the needs of sports-media companies,” says co-founder/Managing Partner Chris Cali. “Whether it’s managing live-video applications, delivering OTT solutions, developing ad-insertion and rights-management technologies, building custom video players, or transitioning services to the cloud, we can provide solutions to many of the software-design and -development challenges faced by sports-media companies.

“By joining SVG,” he continues, “it’s my hope that we can further deepen our knowledge of the challenges faced by the industry, improve our ability to provide solutions to those challenges, and, hopefully, make connections that will give us an opportunity to expand our client base in the space.”

Spark Digital is expert in all things media and entertainment, as well as consumer technology, including sports-media and sports technology. Working with a leading telecommunications company, Spark Digital built an MVP dashboard to support scheduling, monitoring, and ad insertion for a live-streaming partnership with a premier sports-broadcasting network. To deliver the solution in time for the start of an upcoming season, the company built and tested the solution in 90 days. The dashboard supported hundreds of events equaling more than 2.2 million hours of live events, some having more than 150,000 concurrent viewers. The solution offered high-visibility monitoring and made the process of uploading, scheduling, and distributing ad inventory easy for operators.

Spark Digital has enjoyed a multi-year partnership with one of the largest sports companies in the world. In one major project, it partnered with client-side–product owners to align the user experience across various broadcast and web properties, moving away from legacy vendors and bringing app development and video-content management in-house. Although there was already a custom video-content–management system (CMS) for web, Spark Digital fortified the system to scale for the demands of the network’s traffic.

In another major project, it rebuilt large sections of the flagship website, which is built on Drupal, as well as numerous microsites used primarily for promotions and marketing. In addition to ramping up the code base and delivering a number of site enhancements, the company also developed a fully automated testing-regression suite for the transition away from a fully manual process and was able to save thousands of worker-hours.

Spark Digital led an effort to rebuild and modernize web forms, CMS, and workflow-management system for ticket purchases and promotions used by marketing teams at the club level across a leading national sports league. It owned discovery research with a 35+-member stakeholder group, defined the future-state architecture and application requirements, and earned buy-in and consensus from the stakeholder group to build the application. Using a dynamic UI of drag-and-drop tools, Spark Digital delivered an easy-to-use solution that allowed non-technical marketing staff to quickly build web forms and promotion sites.

The company has a central role on the professional-services team of one of the market’s most well-known managed-services provider of streaming video. The company has created OTT apps for clients spanning major sports leagues, cable-TV channels, and other global content providers. These high-traffic applications have primarily been for the desktop, Chromecast, Apple TV, and others.

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