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 branding efforts, creative and production services as well as media and public relations. In 2010, Thompson created and deployed the first extensive gameday experience survey for Ole Miss. The results of which became the foundation for the "100 changes in 100 days" before the 2011 season. Gameday experience research and enhancements for all sports continue to be a focus of Thompson and his team.
In February of 2012, Thompson's team was responsible for a complete overhaul of the official web site of Ole Miss Athletics - a redesign focused heavily on user experience and engagement. Shortly after, Thompson and his team developed the Rebel Road Trip concept and assisted the Alumni Association and UMAA Foundation in executing the 16-city, 6-day tour introducing Coach Freeze and Athletics Director Ross Bjork. Later this spring Thompson's staff will launch an integrated marketing campaign aimed at selling out Vaught-Hemingway Stadium as well as unveil a mobile-device-based, custom-built, rewards program for attending athletics events.
A 2001 graduate of Ole Miss in marketing, Thompson spent the first ten 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.
Some of Thompson's other projects included strategic direction and leadership on clients' multimedia marketing campaigns, leadership of key internal digital marketing initiatives as well as social media analysis and product development.
Thompson is a graduate of the 2007 Class of Leadership Memphis and the Direct Marketing Association Certificate Program. He and his wife Leslie Ann have a 2-year-old daughter, McLean and a newborn son, Elias.