“FOX NFL Kickoff” Host Charissa Thompson Talks Sports, Style & Interior Design

Charissa ThompsonPhoto Credit: Jon Volk

Charissa Thompson loves to talk sports. Given that Thompson is the host of FOX NFL Kickoff, the Sunday morning NFL pregame show leading into FOX NFL Sunday, as well as the co-host of “Calm Down” Podcast alongside Erin Andrews, iHeart Radio’s new podcast, I’d say she’s better equipped than most (she’s also previously covered the Winter Olympics, FIFA World Cup, Super Bowl XLV and BCS National Championship for Versus and Yahoo Sports in 2010, and also worked for ESPN and FS1). Here, we talk sports, style and her latest love, interior design (she’s the founder of House & Home, a full service interior design firm offering both virtual and at home experiences across the US. You can view her website here) and shares a look at her greatest NFL memories and memorabilia below.

Charissa ThompsonPhoto Credit: Jon Volk

When did you decide you wanted to pursue a career in sports broadcasting and how did you become interested in the business?

From the time I was a little girl. I would always sit with my dad and watch football and he would teach me the game . I recorded a video with my brother and interviewed him when I was 11 , he was 13 and used it on my first demo tape!

What are the biggest challenges as a female sports broadcaster?

I’ve been so lucky, I’ve never been mistreated or not welcomed. I would say the door opens quicker for a woman because there are less of us , but it closes a lot quicker because if we mess up it’s because we don’t know what we’re talking about but if a man messes up, it was just a mistake. So what I’ve learned .. try not to mess us and the door won’t slam in your face.

How do you demand respect in the industry?

I don’t demand respect. I hope respect is earned, and that’s all on me to ensure I am doing the best I can at the highest level and it’s up to the viewers, my bosses, coworkers or athletes / entertainers to assign respect to my name.

What advice would you give to other women looking to pursue a career in sports broadcasting?

Study. Know your shit! Be humble, know the name of the guys / gals on crew . Carry the camera if you can , or the tripod, write scripts, don’t make someone get you coffee , get it yourself. Just work hard and appreciate your incredible job.

Charissa ThompsonPhoto Credit: Jon Volk

Talk about your journey in becoming such a successful and respected sports broadcaster. Who have been your influences, inspirations, and/or mentors in the business?

I would like to believe I’m respected in this industry. My employment signals to me the Fox / NFL Films / Extra brass believe and respect my ability. I am going on 13 years and I always say, you’re only as good as your contract says you are. 1 year left, 6 months, etc. I just try to work hard, enjoy the ride and make those around me better. I loved Melissa Stark, I loved that you could be “pretty” and smart and respected. I love and still admire Jim Gray, Jim Nance, Colin Cowherd.

How do you balance running your interior design company and your career in sports broadcasting, and what inspired you to expand past sports and go into interior design?

I’m drowning! I’m not doing it well … yet! I have to find the balance because I don’t want to let my clients down. I’m so humbled by how busy we are in a very new company but I have to find a balance. Quality or quantity. I’ll get there! Ha . Hopefully .

When designing a room, what’s the most important factor to you?

Space and budget. What are we working with .. small room / big room, can we knock down a wall, or what’s our budget and above all listen to the clients and guide them. If they really want something give it to them, the client isn’t always right, but they are the client! It’s their home & their money!

How would you describe your design style?

I am all over the place. I am whatever the client wants me to be. And I say that because I love the challenge of designs that I wouldn’t personally have in my home but those are the challenges and I love it. My personal style is Soho House. What I mean by that is I love mixing textures, antiques with new stuff, vintage rugs and simple sexy black and white art. Yummy textures in blankets ( yes yummy) cozy but sophisticated. I want my home to be livable but chic when it needs to be.

Which players do you think have the best personal style off-court?

[Former NY Rangers goalie] Henrik Lundqvist! Can I say him. I love a Euro chic suit. I also like J’s and vintage T’s. [Kansas City Chiefs tight end] Travis Kelce takes chances and I love it buy I so love a good suit so that’s hockey players!

Charissa Thompson Shares Her Most Beloved NFL Memorabilia