Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Guru Collegiate Report: Assisting Post Production Still a Way of Life for Former Drexel Star Guard

By Mel Greenberg

The Philadelphia collegiate scene in women's basketball has sent forward players who became stars in the WNBA or overseas or both.

Then there are those who have also become successful coaches in their own right.

Some have gone on to athletic administration.

But there have been achievements in non-sports fields as well as their post graduate lives have led to fields in law, medicine, and other disciplines.

And in the case of former Drexel point guard Kira Karlstrom, a 2007 graduate who played in Romania and who was an integral part of the Dragons' first-ever win over Old Dominion in March 2005 when she scored 18 points, the native of Michigan went on to become an Emmy winner in production at ESPN.

Technically, a lot of what she did and does involves post production, which ironically, what she was at Drexel, except with the Dragons she went on to become on of the all-time assists leaders feeding such Drexel greats inside the paint as Gabriela Marginean, the all-time women' scorer in Phildelphia area women's collegiate basketball among all NCAA divisions.

However, Karlstrom's career at the major sports television network is in the past tense as is her most recent gig working for Marvel, the folks that bring you all those comic book characters that also get turned into portrayals on TV and in the movies.

On Wednesday, Karlstrom was announced to have moved on from her job as a manager in the Live Events Division at Marvel Entertainment to become business development executive at Arsenal FX, no, not the English soccer franchise.

The firm in Santa Monica, California, is a leading Visual Effects Post Production studio specializing in high end commercial finishing.

To learn more about all that, the Guru has the full press release below along with a picture.

Incidentally, somewhere in her basketball days, she happened to become an acquaintance of Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman, who has also gone to success in the business part of sports besides TV and radio broadcasting.

Krlstrom is also a cancer motivational speaker for such organization's as the Jimmy V Foundation and Coaches vs. Cancer.

During Karlstrom's days at Drexel, Lieberman, when talking to the Guru on other matters, would usually want to be brought up to date on Karlson's play besides following her career, herself.

Before adding the official announcement below, first a little flesh and blood in a conversation Karlstrom had with the Guru.

In the classroom, Karlstrom was a Graphic Design Major at Drexel and then a a Business Entertainment Masters at Full Sail University, a prestigious educational institution that offers growth in fields of interest involving Karlstrom.

Looking at her post-Drexel life through the magic of google, she was once featured in one of the ESPN inside-the-organization websites talking about how Karlstrom ran 13 miles on short notice with a video camera strapped to her body to film the exploits of one of the network's on-air talent.

"My favorite projects at ESPN were the Women's World Cup, launching the Longhorn Network at the University in Texas, and the re-brand of the ESPN Global X-Games," Karlstrom said.

"My favorite project at Marvel was Producing the Sony // Marvel The Amazing Spider-man II consumer product photo shoot," she noted about her other place of employment.

"I also worked heavily on the FELD Entertainment: Marvel Universe Live touring arena show which is making it's rounds through NJ, Philly, + NY right now."

Karlstrom said she was not a victim of the ESPN downsize a while back involving some of its support people in several departments and loved working there.

Of living now among the aforementioned "beautiful people,", she said, "The change in LA is a bit different than the East Coast.

"I love my job and living in Beverly Hills but I will always be a Midwest-East Coast girl at heart," ahe aaid.

Apparently, back in Karlstrom's high school days, the Dragons were an easy sell by Denise Dillon and her staff because of what the school offered in the classroom.

"I chose Drexel because they had a great Design program, I loved the city of Philadelphia, and it was a growing program," Karlstrom recalled.

"I thought I would play a lot of minutes in and have the opportunity to make a difference in," she continued.

"I partially tore ligaments going into the summer of my junior season playing pick-up at the University of Michigan," she aaid.

"I was in a cast all summer but didn't effect my in-season playing much."

For those who go to Drexel games, Karlstrom is no stranger and often is seen showing up on a moment's notice.

"I come back to visit Drexel often," she explained.

"I have a great relationship with Denise, the coaching staff, and the whole athletic staff. They are amazing people that I'm fortunate to have had apart of my younger years."

And with all that said, here is the release by Arsenal FX announcing Karlstrom's hire.



Santa Monica, CA --
Arsenal FX, a leading Visual Effects Post Production studio specializing in high-end commercial finishing, has appointed Kira Karlstrom as business development executive. Previously, she was a manager in the Live Events Division at Marvel Entertainment.

As Arsenal FX’s business development executive, she will be responsible for procuring new clients, and identifying fresh business ventures and opportunities.

Karlstrom’s immediate focus will be to strategically strengthen and further position the Arsenal FX brand.

This includes leading an effort to integrate the animation discipline into the Arsenal FX Design Department to customize content and messaging through visual storytelling across multiple platforms.

“Kira is an award-winning creative producer with a keen expertise and years of experience in animation, live action and broadcast television,” said Mark Leiss, managing partner of Arsenal FX. “She is a proven leader and an executive who is equally comfortable with both the business and creative sides. Her unique set of skills is a true asset to our team.”

“My goal is to reinforce the client partnerships we already have and foster new relationships by bringing in unique and cutting edge creative talent,” Karlstrom said. “Championing this talent will allow us to be more than just a traditional post production VFX studio, but also the ‘creative ideation’ that will give us the flexibility to expand in the marketplace.”

“I see opportunities to broaden our work into co-branded TV spots, network animation, live events, as well as commercial and digital content,” Karlstrom added. “These new avenues are crucial not only for our brand, but, more importantly, for our clients. And, it will allow us to compete with any full-service post production, VFX or design studio.”


Prior to joining Arsenal FX in July 2014, Karlstrom helped develop and manage the Live Events Division at Marvel Entertainment.

Responsible for the branding of Marvel Intellectual properties through initiatives such as Disney attractions, theme parks, Broadway productions, live touring arena shows, and museums viewed by more than three million people annually. Karlstrom also produced the MARVEL/SONY consumer product photo-shoot for 2014’s “The Amazing Spider-Man.”

Prior to that, Karlstrom was a producer and art director at ESPN, where she garnered seven Sports Emmy Award nominations.

There she produced and assisted in directing more than 20 high-end network animation packages and over 15 live actions productions, concurrently working with numerous A-level talent, artists and athletes. ESPN projects on which Karlstrom worked include: the 2013 Global X-Games re-brand, 2012 EURO Cup, 2011 Women’s World Cup, 2010 Men’s World Cup, the ESPYS, NBA re-brand, the Longhorn Network, College GameDay Open, and Monday Night Football, to name a few.

Originally from Clarkston, Michigan, Karlstrom was an honors graduate in Graphic Design from Drexel University in 2007.

She was a scholarship basketball player for Drexel, who later became a professional player in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Karlstrom is a Cancer Motivational Speaker for Foundations including the Jimmy V Foundation and Coaches vs. Cancer, as well as a Salutatorian Award recipient of an Entertainment Business Masters Degree from Full Sail University.


Arsenal FX is an artist-driven, Visual Effects Post Production studio set within a boutique environment.

The company specializes in commercial finishing. Arsenal FX enjoys a stellar reputation and a diverse global client base, spanning the industries of advertising, motion pictures, and television.

Since its founding in 2008, Arsenal FX has contributed visual effects to many hundreds of commercial spots on behalf of such major clients such as Sony, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, Nike, Redbull, BMW, Beats By Dre, Bud Light, Hyundai, Audi, Lexus, Chevrolet, Mazda, McDonalds, State Farm, U.S. Cellular, and dozens more.

Please see: www.arsenalfx.tv.

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad


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