Michael Thompson, Jr., joined the Ole Miss Athletics Department in August of 2010 as the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Communications and Marketing.
The Memphis native oversees the Rebels' communications strategy, marketing and fan experience efforts, creative and production services, media and public relations as well as information technology.
Always looking for new and better pieces of technology to incorporate into Ole Miss athletics, Thompson instituted the first-ever rewards platform that uses proximity-based Beacons, allowing easier check-in for fans using Rebel Rewards, and better analytics for Ole Miss staff. He also led the selection process for stadium WiFi partner C Spire. The new WiFi network at football games has over 700 access points strategically located throughout Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, and allows Ole Miss fans WiFi connectivity with their mobile devices during games.
In 2013, Thompson was selected to represent Ole Miss on the Southeastern Conference's Fan Experience working group, and was later asked to lead research for the group, a role he continues to perform for the SEC today. Thompson also worked on a unique partnership with IMG College, America's leading collegiate multimedia, marketing and licensing/brand management company, for the Rebels' multimedia rights.
A speaker at NACMA and the SEC Network point of contact at Ole Miss, Thompson is an adjunct professor in integrated marketing communications at Ole Miss, and has taught a course during the fall and spring semesters since the fall of 2012.
In regards to department-wide communication, Thompson led the creation and development of external teams throughout the entire athletics department, providing a unique way to serve each athletic team and its respective coaches. Through the external teams, representatives from several key areas team up grow the fan bases of each Ole Miss Rebel team while providing the best gameday atmosphere possible for these teams and fans. Similarly, Thompson led the athletics department through internal communications changes by deploying Basecamp, an internal communication tool used throughout the department and established a new brand standards guide at Ole Miss which is still used and incorporated today.
A 2001 graduate of Ole Miss in marketing, Thompson spent the first 10 years of his career gaining a wide range of experience in branding, marketing and sponsorship. After graduating, he worked for The GEM Group, a global sports marketing agency headquartered in Atlanta. While at GEM, he helped companies such as Domino's Pizza, United Parcel Service, and General Motors Racing activate their sponsorship dollars.
Upon leaving Atlanta in 2004, he created BottleRocket, a sports and entertainment marketing division of Thompson Marketing Communications in Memphis. With a proprietary valuation model, BottleRocket helped clients understand and maximize the value of their sponsorship dollars. The firm also created unique corporate hospitality experiences for thousands of guests at sporting events all over the country.
In 2007, he was promoted to president of Thompson Marketing Communications, which employed 45 marketing, advertising, public relations and design professionals in Memphis and Nashville. As president, Thompson served as a communication strategist for all of the company's six divisions, as well as served as account supervisor on one of the company's most active accounts.
He and his wife, Leslie Ann, have a 5-year-old daughter, McLean, and a 2-year-old son Adams.