2018 Hackathon Highlights: Swingr App Hits Homerun at CMGt Hackathon

September 25-27, 2018 | One Tech Center – 223 Perimeter Center Pkwy NE, 2nd Floor, Atlanta, GA 30346


Dressed like characters from the binge-worthy Netflix show Stranger Things, CMGt hackathon winners (appropriately named Stranger Strings) took first place for their Swingr browser extension, which helps simplify the daily workflow for Methode CMS users.


Last week, seven teams made up of Cox Media Group Technology business analysts, designers, developers and engineers took part in the fourth annual Hackathon. The event has become a CMG crowd favorite, bringing team members together from across the country for an innovative and energetic employee engagement event unlike any other.


I look forward to the hackathon every year,” said Bala Sundaramoorthy, Executive Director of Consumer Systems for CMGt. “I’m genuinely blown away by the enthusiasm and energy participants bring to the table and the long hours the teams put in. It’s fantastic to see them enjoy themselves, and it’s also important for them to see the value they bring the company through their contributions at this event.


Teams participating in the Hackathon had 24 hours to ideate, design and prototype a digital product or operational optimization that solved a real business challenge or problem in the media. Each group looked to wow the judges by generating creative ideas to help address issues either internally or in the field for front-line employees. Judging criteria included presentation, execution of a working prototype, business value and the creativity with which the team accomplished its goals.


This year’s judges included:

  • Ian Stinson, Exec Director Digital Audience, CMG
  • Nate McCormick, Director Ad Platforms, CMG
  • David McLeod, Chief Information Security Officer, CEI


Ian Stinson Nathan McCormick David Mcleod


The Hackathon teams did not disappoint this year,” said Marian Pittman, Executive Vice President CMG. “What I especially loved from the presentations was the connections the teams made to address issues our employees face in the field every day in such a disruptive industry. These guys are unsung heroes to me! They don’t always get the spotlight, and this event is their spotlight. It’s the hallmark of their year.


2018 Hackathon winners included:

  • First Place: Stranger Strings, Project: Swingr, a browser extension that helps simplify the daily workflow for Methode CMS users. Team members included Todd Fleeman, Aaron White, Ian Price, Jerry Tirado, Jen Ryan, and Boyd Dee

  • Second Place: Pink Freud, Project: AdSights, which integrates, visualizes and models ad delivery data to predict performance. Team members included Subra Viswanathan, Finbarrs Oketunji, Surendra Nuthi, James He, Martin Underwood and Vinola Gabriel

  • People’s choice: The Breakfast Taco Club, Project: Verde, a browser extension that empowers teams to better understand the value of content and audience through digital revenue metrics. Team members included Zack McGhee (team leader), Alex Prestel, Mark Howell, Joshua Kirwin, Gemma Merchant and Ashley Hebler.

Stranger Strings Pink Freud The Breakfast Taco Club


The Hackathon is a self-funded event hosted by a group of corporate sponsors and organized by a dedicated group of employee volunteers. This year’s planning committee included Jason Munson, Lorne Cameron, Traci Schoenberg, Tracy Smith, Sherhonda Brown, Jason Foust and Kineya Hood.


Year after year our all-volunteer team raises the funds required to host an event that re-infuses the innovation culture into our work,” said Jason Munson Sr. Director of Product. “The Hackathon also serves as an opportunity for our organization to show our employees how much we appreciate them. We are able to offer two offsite social events during the hackathon thanks to our generous sponsors, and we ensure everyone knows the social events are a celebration of our extended digital team’s accomplishments throughout the year. None of this would be possible without our event volunteer team, they are the ones that ensure we keep the innovation spirit well-fed and that everyone feels like they have an opportunity to present the next great idea to the broader organization!