April 25, 2016

Name: Tim Hogan
Title: Managing Director
Time with CLS: Two Years

1. What would you tell yourself if you could go back and give yourself advice on your first day at CLS? 

The office coffee is usually Starbucks or Peet’s, so throw that coffee shop money into a 401k.

2. If you weren’t in the digital PR field, what would you be doing? 

I think I’d be living in a San Francisco co-op, bouncing from one ill-fated start-up company to the next.

3. What dream client/industry would you like to work with? 

Earlier in my career, I had the opportunity to create campaigns on behalf of infrastructure and transportation-related causes, fighting for increased emphasis on funding for large-scale infrastructure projects that have been neglected for decades. I took an active interest in the subject matter and would love to work on more campaigns within this industry in the future.

4. How did you get started in digital communications? 

After college I had a 2008 Chevy Cobalt, a political science degree and a decent understanding of web development and social media channels. After working for an ad agency in South Carolina, I moved to DC to work on issue-based advocacy campaigns, and I’ve been doing this ever since. 

5. How has the digital communications field changed since you began your career?

I think it’s changed drastically due to the constant advancement of technology and the new audiences that are utilizing the digital platforms (like social media and the mobile internet). Within the U.S. particularly, digital strategy can include messaging across social media channels and complex advertising campaigns, all deployed in-house in a matter of hours without needing to involve outside ad agencies and other vendors. This makes response times much faster and allows for more control over the creation and delivery of the message. 

6. What is your favorite movie?

I have a a number of favorite movies and it changes almost weekly, but Whiplash (2014) starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons is probably my current favorite. 

7.Who would play you in the movie version of your life?

I’m told Vince Vaughn, and don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing. 

8. What is your favorite sport? Sports team?

I’m a big Ohio State football fan, and a big Cleveland Cavaliers fan. Outside of those two, I usually just default to Cleveland sports teams. 

9. What is your favorite DC social/night “spot”? Favorite place in DC?

I’m a big fan of McClellan’s Retreat (DuPont area) and Lost & Found (Shaw area).

10. If you can bring one fictional character from books, television or movies to life, who would you want to work with you at CLS?

Doug Stamper from House of Cards. The guy is a real go-getter.


April 21, 2015

Welcome to the “awkward age” of television. Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services are undoubtedly revolutionizing the way we access content. Indeed, once hesitant networks are now widely sharing their catalogues. Now, the only other major missing content on these services is live sports.

The major U.S. professional sports leagues have been testing the digital waters to varying degrees for the past two years, but the National Football League has perhaps been the slowest to begin exploring the potential of online streaming. Since becoming the most popular professional sports league in 1985, the NFL has commanded billions of dollars for highly sought after network broadcasting rights. And, its only deviation from the network broadcast model is its subscription-based agreement with DirecTV, which provides the NFL with an additional $1.5 billion annually.  

Decades of growing popularity compounded with little change in the viewing habits of NFL fans have created a status quo that forces networks and fans to play entirely by the NFL’s rules – until now. This season, the League will live-stream one regular season game, it has announced. The specifics of the plan have yet to be announced, and the League remains years behind the other major sports leagues. However this is a significant first step, and suggests for the first time that the NFL is aware that they too will have to adapt to a changing world. 

So how does the NFL’s single game plan compare to the other major professional sporting leagues? The NBA, NHL, and MLB are all making a concerted effort to provide streaming of as many live events as their existing broadcasting contracts will allow. However, accessing games can often take a piece-meal approach. The current the streaming models being used by the three organizations follow roughly the same blueprint, and therefore have many of the same drawbacks. All three leagues allow users to stream most regular season games, while largely restricting post-season matches from streaming devices. Additional network streaming services, such as Sling TV, can be used as a workaround to this problem, although they are an imperfect fix. 

As the streaming model continues to gain momentum, it is now evident that professional sports are willing to adapt to the viewing preferences of their millions of fans. The NFL’s hesitant foray into the streaming world is an indication that even the most stubborn of the sporting behemoths understands the potential of this new medium, and perhaps the danger from failing to adapt to it. Perhaps the upcoming NFL Draft, which the League will livestream on its website, will help make them more comfortable with the expanding models. Either way, while the NFL’s master plan for moving toward a streaming model is unclear, it is safe to assume that their process will be as slow and methodical as it will be lucrative.