As sports and entertainment storytelling continue to evolve, I embody both sides of the coin— in front of the camera and on paper as a journalist / creative and behind the scenes as a publicist / comms professional. 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!
My diverse experience within storytelling (communications + editorial) ranges from ESPN, Nike Inc, Netflix, NFL-NBA-MLB teams and leagues and InStyle and Teen Vogue magazines.
Most recently, I joined Netflix to lead communications for their documentary and unscripted series. More to share as I sink my feet into the role!
Before that, 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. Projects included Space Jam: A New Legacy, House Party, Naomi Osaka, Neymar: The Perfect Chaos, Uninterrupted’s The Shop, Hustle and many more across feature films, TV series and unscripted content.
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).
NYG Daniel Jones
Jax Jaguars: Josh Allen
LA Chargers: Jerry Tillery
NYG: Austin Droogsma
LA Chargers: Daniel Helm
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.
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.
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
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
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
Forbes, ESSENCE, Black Enterprise and HerAgenda have written features around how I juggle communications and journalism.
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.