Tina Thornton, ESPN
Last season, when the NFL decided the field at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca was not good enough to host an NFL game and moved the Chiefs-Rams game to Los Angeles, ESPN had only seven days to figure out how to make a move.
That’s when Tina Thornton went to work.
She immediately pulled a team of people together and figured out how to make the move as flawless as possible. She identified three initiatives where ESPN could help: jump-starting ticket sales, targeting a Hispanic audience that was prepared to watch the game in Mexico and honoring the first responders who were battling fires in the L.A. area. Thornton started talking to the Rams about coming up with a halftime act and other ways to make the game special.
“Tina was instrumental and one of our primary point people on that project, helping to manage relationships internally and externally,” said ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro. “She is smart, creative, collaborative and able to handle many important responsibilities at the same time.”
Appointed as Pitaro’s chief of staff in July 2018, Thornton has had a seat at the table for all of ESPN’s business decisions over the past year.
“Her 25 years of experience at ESPN were immediately valuable to me and the entire ESPN leadership team in every aspect of our business,” Pitaro said. — John Ourand