For the past few years, Sterling Hager has grown at a healthy pace and continued to establish itself as a serious player in the technology sector, but it has somehow been overshadowed by local competitors that have grown more explosively and devoted more energy to blowing their own horns. But 2000 has been a breakthrough year for Hager’s firm, marked by geographic expansion—a new office in the United Kingdom, and another on the west coast—the strengthening of the agency’s management team, and a host of major account wins that will mean yet another year of 40 to 50 percent growth.
Sterling Hager focuses on small and start-up companies in evolving technology sectors and more mature midsize companies that are facing new technology challenges, with particular expertise in the telecommunications and web infrastructure sectors. Like most of its competitors in the tech arena, the firm has expanded its expertise in the Internet business-to-business space, but unlike many of its competitors it never got caught up in the hype-for-hype’s-sake frenzy of the past couple of years and for that reason took relatively little collateral damage when the dot.com sector stopped worrying about sizzle and developed a more healthy obsession with steak.
The firm is also developing an expertise in e-healthcare, adding clients such as Athenahealth.com, Quadramed Corporation, and Seattle Systems, since the official launch of the practice in February. Other new clients include Fireclick, Upshot.com, and TimesTen Performance Software, helping the firm hit $13.5 million in revenues for the year. Key appointments include Shandwick veteran Jack Jackson, who joined as senior VP, filling the hole left by six-year agency veteran Todd Defren, who transferred to San Francisco to introduce Hager on the west coast; and the selection of Lisa Joy, formerly of the L.A. Times, as marketing manager. Longtime executive VP Jim Joyal, meanwhile, was promoted to president.