Civic News

Chief Data Officer Mark Headd to step down in April

"Philly’s open data effort has always been bigger than any one person – it’s always been about the community. It’s now time for me to rejoin that community," Headd wrote.

The branding agency will do online creative for Premier League Soccer.

The Barn, a Wilmington-based creative agency based out of 1313 Innovation, has landed on of its biggest clients yet. As of this week, the firm is doing online creative for NBC Sports' Premier League Soccer. Fans of the English professional league will start seeing the agency's work in the next few weeks, leading up to the Manchester City vs. Liverpool match on Sept. 9. Last week, The Barn founder Nick Matarese thought the NBC Sports account was a no-go when a different project he'd been in talks for with the multimedia sports giant was back-burnered. Just days later, they called Matarese back with an offer for the Premier League Soccer job. "It was literally, 'We know you can do this and we need you to start tomorrow,'" Matarese said. The Barn's work will ensure that all of NBC's Premier League online ads go on brand. "Essentially, they give us one asset," said Matarese. "They say, 'We need 35 iterations of this in 35 different sizes.' It's kind of going everywhere, one says Amazon, we have one that's TV-sized, so we're producing all these different sizes." The Barn has worked with big-time clients before, including Disney, Adobe and Adidas (with whom it has a current web project). NBC Sports, in addition to being big time, fits right in the agency's sports niche.

About a year and a half after he was appointed as Philadephia’s first Chief Data Officer, Mark Headd will step down from his position, he announced on his blog this morning.

Headd didn’t reveal much in the post, other than that he would stay in Philadelphia and remain active in its (and other) tech scenes.

Philly’s open data effort has always been bigger than any one person – it’s always been about the community. It’s now time for me to rejoin that community.

A constant presence at hackathons and other civic hacking and technology events (both before and after he was appointed), Headd led the city’s open data efforts since the fall of 2012. His position evolved from advocating for open data releases and creating policies around them to managing a 15-person staff. He once likened his job to a psychiatrist, one that had to help government officials understand the importance of open data.

Since Headd joined City Hall, the spirit of innovation has caught on. Most recently, the City of Philadelphia launched a program to send 19 of its staffers to an innovation course at Philadelphia University. Still, with many controversial data sets still on the city’s release calendar, it’ll be interesting to see what happens without Headd at the helm.

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