LA Sparks WNBA: Game Presentation and Fan Engagement
By Anna Robb
TheatreArtLife has a discussion with Danelle and Debra from the Los Angeles Sparks about game presentation and fan engagement in a pre and post COVID world.
This dynamic team wears multiple hats within the Los Angeles Sparks organisation. They strategically work independently and together on projects, leading to a notable in-game show. Learn about what it takes to succeed in this part of the sporting and entertainment world.
With incredibly busy schedules year round, this is a unique opportunity to learn from women at the top of their field.
About the panelists:
Danelle Winfield is currently the Sr. Director of Game Operations, Entertainment & Promotions for the Los Angeles Sparks. She is one of five people on the Sparks Leadership Committee and plays a critical role in the organization. Danelle is in charge of creating an engaging game atmosphere for fans and home-court advantage for the Players. She oversees & manages over 70 people, including but not limited to: In-Arena Host, DJ, PA Announcer, Dance Crews, Mascot, etc. Danelle leads all game day meetings with staff from Sparks, AEG, and Staples Center to bring the show to life; This process involves a heavy role in communication, scripting and rehearsals. She also oversees and executes annual events such as- the Draft Party, Media Day, Entertainer Audition Finals, etc.
Before her role at the LA Sparks, she worked for the Houston Rockets in the Game Operations Department from 2010-2016. As Game Operations Coordinator, she was in charge of planning and executing all of the on-court logistics, including recognitions, games/contests, and public announcements. She also directed the Pre-game Show for every home game from the Scorestable, managed the Sonic Boom Drumline, and assisted with Marketing & Community events. Danelle’s introduction into the Game Operations field came from a shadowing opportunity while in college.
Throughout the decade Danelle has worked the following events: Golf Industry Show, NBA All-Star, MLB All-Star, U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and NAACP Image Awards. She attended Texas Southern University (TSU) and interned for the Sports Information Director, and worked part-time seasonal for the Houston Rockets. Danelle graduated from TSU in 2011 with a Bachelor’s in Mass Communication – Radio, TV, and Film.
Debra’s career in entertainment began while dancing, choreographing and touring with some of the hottest acts in the entertainment business including, Diddy, Whitney Houston, SWV, Boys II Men and with one of the largest trendsetting groups of the 90’s, BELL BIV DEVOE. In this atmosphere, she honed her craft of choreography and drew on her creative skills and love for fashion, to land a job working for a major marketing firm as an entertainment marketing coordinator. Debra was able to use her influence to place product from Puma, K-Swiss, Adidas, and Pony on the artist that she worked with.
Debra has worked in production for major shows and special event management for non-profit organizations her relationships with brands, production companies, television shows, movie studios, and record labels, has been key to her success and has possessed an in-depth and hands-on experience in all facets of the entertainment industry.
As the current Senior Entertainment Manager for Los Angeles Sparks, she is able to combine the skills that she’s developed over the years to oversee the production of high-quality and engaging entertainment. Her talent and entertainment management ranges from producing player intro and hype videos, who sings the “national anthem”, approving and bringing in half-time performers, scouting new talent for the “Magic Moment”, to overseeing 3 dance teams, and much more!