GIANINA THOMPSON

Multi-Hyphenated Storyteller

As sports and pop culture storytelling continues to evolve, I embodied both sides of the coin— in front of the camera and on paper as a journalist and behind the scenes as a publicist. Here's a peak into how I juggle both and continue to step outside of the box in advancing as a multi-hyphenated storyteller. Enjoy!

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ABOUT

My diverse experience within storytelling (communications + editorial) ranges from ESPN, Nike Inc, NFL-NBA-MLB teams and leagues and InStyle and Teen Vogue magazines.

 

Currently, I am the head of communications for the SpringHill Company, the media conglomerate created by LeBron James and Maverick Carter, where I head all communications strategies and publicity efforts for projects across sport, entertainment and social impact within studios, networks and internal platforms.

 

Previously, I managed communication strategies and influencer-ambassador programs at Nike Inc’s Converse brand with an emphasis in sport and street style, inclusive of the  Converse re-emerging into basketball, and culture-based events like ComplexCon and Tyler the Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw.

While at ESPN, I managed managed pitching strategies and efforts around NBA and MLB, including history-making trailblazers like Jessica Mendoza, Doris Burke and fan favorites Paul Pierce, Jalen Rose, Jeff Van Gundy and more.

 

On the journalist side, I freelance write for InStyle Magazine and Teen Vogue within the entertainment and culture verticals. I've also written and hosted digital videos for ESPN's espnW and The Undefeated. 1:1 interviews include Viola Davis, Gabrielle Union, LL Cool J, French Montana, Chris Paul, the cast of Scandal, Empire, Star, The Flash and executives at Beats by Dre, Roc Nation, CoverGirl and sports teams.

At Galvanize— led by FOX Sports broadcaster Laura Okmin— I’ve done on-camera interviews with several NFL rookies as they embark on their professional careers, including first-round Draft picks Daniel Jones (Giants), Josh Allen (Jaguars) and Jerry Tillery (Chargers).

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Reel

Reel

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NYG Daniel Jones

NYG Daniel Jones

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Jax Jaguars: Josh Allen

Jax Jaguars: Josh Allen

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LA Chargers: Jerry Tillery

LA Chargers: Jerry Tillery

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NYG: Austin Droogsma

NYG: Austin Droogsma

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LA Chargers: Daniel Helm

LA Chargers: Daniel Helm

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PORTFOLIO OF ARTICLES

Have a look at some of my favorite articles and let me know what you think!

For a list of recent articles, click HERE.

 

INSTYLE: Viola Davis Is Redefining What it Means to Be a Black Woman on TV "Out of Necessity"

Viola Davis hopes to tell stories through her character Annalise Keating in which “people can redefine what it means to be a dark-skinned Black woman, where we’re not just always holding the baby, wearing aprons, cussing someone out or being the best friend with wise words of wisdom. It’s that lack of knowledge in putting myths out there and continuing them and seeing how destructive they have been within our community,” she said.

To read more, visit InStyle.com.

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PORTFOLIO OF PR/COMMS

Good communication has the power to inform, inspire and engage. This has better evolved what and how I pitch story ideas because I know what best appeals to a journalist and publicist individually and collaboratively.

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THE SPRINGHILL COMPANY

  • Heads all communications for The SpringHill Company, the media conglomerate uniting three companies built by LeBron James and Maverick Carter— Uninterrupted: the athlete empowerment media and consumer product company, SpringHill Entertainment: the Emmy-winning premium scripted and unscripted film and television production company, and The Robot Company: the brand and culture consultancy.

NIKE INC / CONVERSE

  • Converse's return to basketball: Define and create a modern relationship between basketball (performance and lifestyle) and existing and new consumers

  • Supercharge the brand's position and influencer in skate through CONS athletes competing in Olympics 2020

  • Develop a grassroots brand ambassador program to position Converse as a culture-first brand, build brand relationships

ESPN

  • Named one of PR News Rising Stars 30 & Under, part of a small team to receive the Beacon Award for brand reputation management

    • Jessica Mendoza, ​first woman analyst for a nationally televised MLB game

    • Doris Burke, first woman in national role as a regular NBA game analyst

    • Record-breaking watched NBA Finals, longest tenured broadcast trip to call NBA Finals: Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and Mike Breen

  • Meshed sports with entertainment, culture, fashion, and lifestyle by successfully securing placements into non-sports outlets through creative, out-of-the-box story angles

  • Part of the leadership board for ESPN Women employee resource group 

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WASHINGTON REDSKINS, HAMPTON UNIVERSITY, OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY

  • Assisted in PR efforts for the Washington Redskins during training camp and home games (transcripts, media relations, player interview prep)

  • Successfully pitched Hampton University into NFL HOFer Ray Lewis' hackathon competition

  • Assisted in event planning for executive tailgating and suite boxes for CAA football games at Old Dominion University 

 

FEATURED IN

Forbes, ESSENCE, Black Enterprise and HerAgenda have written features around how I juggle communications and journalism.

 
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ESSENCE Magazine: Black Girl Magic

As the newly minted Communications Director for the SpringHill conglomerate, Gianina Thompson is more than ready to put her brilliance, passion and fine-tuned skill set to work. A career alum of both Nike, Inc. and ESPN, Gianina credits her early beginnings as a Senior PR Specialist for Hampton University with birthing her passion for wanting to leave a trail of impact as a change agent against injustice and inequality that remained visible throughout her professional journey.

To read more, visit Essence.com.

 

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