Professional Insight: Danielle Percival


Danielle Percival is Piedmont University’s Assistant Athletic Director of Communications. PHOTO//Karl L. Moore/Mooreshots LLC 2022

Connor Creedon, News and Features Editor

From a viewer’s perspective, a sports broadcast and live sideline experience typically look like a flawless production with many entertainment elements that engage the audience on multiple levels. These levels don’t appear on their own, as there is usually lots of work done in the background as preparation and real-time correspondence for making things happen.

For many NCAA Division III athletic departments, a sports communications office is the central hub for creating, updating and monitoring a program’s social media outreach and online image. For Piedmont University, Danielle Percival is responsible for media progress, as she is in her ninth year as the school’s Assistant Athletic Director of Communications.

As a graduate of Troy University, Percival worked with ESPN as the Sun Belt Conference Game of the Week sideline reporter through 2014 and 2015. In a recent episode of the sports media podcast Socially Athletic, Percival shared some of the lessons she learned from working in such a unique position.

“What I found was working in the field that I had my sights set on for so long actually showed me an even better gateway into something I could see myself doing long term. That opportunity was my job here at Piedmont.”

When examining the timeline of social media and live broadcast capability with ease over the internet, there has been lots of room for growth over nine years of development at small Division III institutions. New advancements in technology have demanded higher standards and quicker upgrade capabilities out of schools that want to keep up.

“Everything we do today as a department has been a work in progress since before I came to Piedmont,” said Percival. “In this industry, there is so much going on with the sports schedule, and ensuring we are covering every aspect of these events takes lots of technology to make it happen.”

The cutting-edge moves quickly, and staying updated and informed requires involvement. In the summer of 2019, Percival was elected to the Board of Directors of the College Sports Communicators. This organization recognizes trends and sets standards for current connectivity outlets in Division III athletic media coverage. Keeping an ear to the most connected sources in the industry can go a long way.

The goal of any college or university athletic organization is to provide a quality experience to student-athletes, who in turn work hard for the school they represent in competition. Percival feels this situation creates the best working relationships that rally around an excellent output.

“The ability to work alongside student-athletes and workers who are passionate about the event is always great,” said Percival. “My staff of Joseph Garwood, Davis Barlow and I all split up the heavy lifting and fill other roles. Without the help of students to cover the other bases, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.”

The system Percival, her department and the rest of Piedmont University have in motion is promising for the future, as it is already benefiting the masses in the present.

For more information about Piedmont athletics, click here.