Storyland Studios Opens UK Branch, Hires Former Disney Leaders
Spatial storytelling design firm Storyland Studios announced Thursday that they are expanding their availability to clients by opening an international branch in London. Disney alumnus Ben Thompson will run the office just outside of London, England as Chief Strategy Officer and Head of International, effective August 1, 2020.
Ben Thompson is a 20 year veteran in marketing and strategizing for major corporate brands worldwide, including Mars Incorporated, The Walt Disney Company and Merlin Entertainments. At Disney he served as Regional Marketing Director for the UK and EMEA markets on their branding design. He led teams in 47 markets on projects such as Star Wars Ep VII, Avengers, Iron Man 3, Spider-Man 2, Frozen, Cars 2 and Brave.
Post Disney, Thompson moved to Merlin Entertainments, opening LEGOLAND®️ Parks and Midway sites across the world including Shanghai, Melbourne, Nagoya and Istanbul. He launched his own strategic marketing firm, and met Mel McGowan, Chief Creative Officer of Storyland Studios at IAAPA in 2019. Soon they partnered in a variety of successful collaborations until it made sense to join forces within Storyland Studios.
“We believe Ben is the perfect individual to lead Storyland Studios’ next chapter of success and growth,” said McGowan. “We’re all confident in his ability to lead us in strategic marketing, and to build out our client-base outside of the USA. He’s a world-class leader and we’re excited to have him on the Storyland team!”
Joining the team with Thompson, is Josh Steadman an Art/Production Designer and Set Designer with 20 years of experience in themed entertainment, television, and live theater. His portfolio includes such projects as Shanghai Disneyland, Marvel Avengers STATION and Evermore Park where he was taked with conceptualizing and delivering a ground-breaking immersive experience. At Walt Disney Imagineering, he conceptualized, designed and installed the Enchanted Storybook Castle Walkthrough for Disney’s largest castle at Shanghai Disneyland for which he received Thea Awards (Themed Entertainment Association) for both Show Design and Production Design.
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