Masterbrand Art Dir | WILSON SPORTS

Danielle is currently the Masterbrand Art Director for Wilson Sporting Goods. She started at Wilson six years ago as a designer & over the course of 2.5 short years, hustled to become Wilson’s youngest Art Director. For the next few years, she oversaw the creative direction of all marketing for the Golf division, including in-store, player photoshoots, packaging, digital, events, paid advertising, product, and social. She also advocated for a dramatic shift to a more strategic approach to web design, which led to the opportunity to art direct sports legends Brian Urlacher & Jeremy Roenick for Wilson’s driver-designing reality show on Golf Channel. And a token random factoid? She’s obsessed with sharks.


 What was your very first job?

My first job was working at a local photo studio in my hometown when I was 18. I edited & retouched portraits, served as a photo assistant and eventually, began designing their business collateral. Up to this point, my experience in the arts was drawing & painting. It was at this job that I was introduced to Adobe Photoshop and gave me my first exposure to the design world.

What describe (in your own words) what your job is and what work it entails?

I art direct, design, content plan, co-storytell, collaborate, and more for brand-centric communications for Wilson. Our creative teams are divided by sport category and I handle the creative work for projects that either encompass all sport divisions or are strictly just brand-focused.

How did you discover the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life you credit to this discovery? What was the train of events that brought you to where you are today?

Honestly, by happy accident. I took a drawing class in high school and turned out to be really good at it, which was unusual because up until then, I was a full left-brainer. This led to painting, full-scale murals and eventually my first gig at a local photo studio, opening the door to the world that was Adobe & design. Much to my parent’s initial dismay, I declared myself design school-bound rather than the Pre-Med path I had planned on. 

I was unlucky enough to graduate in the middle of the recession and led the hustler design life, making coffee and taking any freelance gig that was willing to bet on a newbie while living in a rundown, centipede-infested apartment, all on sheer refusal to move back to my small hometown. I started at a smaller sporting goods company for a couple of years, driving by Wilson every day, intent on working for a brand of that caliber. I managed to land the gig, starting as a designer and hustled every day for 2.5 years to become Wilson's youngest Art Director and oversee the Golf division’s creative direction. The hustle never let up during those years in Golf and recently, I was offered the opportunity to be the creative lead for the Wilson master brand, designing for brand-level projects, including web design, Wilson events, executive communications, brand development and more.

In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and 

I’m a stubborn believer that the most effective way to grow is to surround yourself by people who are better than you. I recall coming from the small stage and being very intimidated on my first day at Wilson. I recognized the talent & experience around me and decided on day one to be a sponge.

I succumb to the greatness that is the internet and spend hours a day drowning in creative inspiration wherever I can find it: Instagram, Pinterest, design blogs, you name it. I also intentionally seek out a diverse range of creative expressions to surround myself with & mentally catalog for later, whether it be an art showing, a ComicCon convention, reveling in storytelling giants like Game of Thrones & Stranger Things, a concert or attending a random class on something you’ve been meaning to learn. This usually means my brain feels like it’s always spinning; but, I embrace it rather than try and quiet it.

If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success”, what would it be?

In Wilson’s Golf division, I designed a microsite for a product unveiling. This project was the catalyst for a shift in how we approached web design. Previously, websites were adverts with hyperlinks. However, this microsite turned the consumers’ first interaction with product into a visual storytelling experience within a navigable environment. For me, this project was not just monumental to the business, but it also kickstarted my obsession with web design.


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