Alumni Profile
By Keith Testa
Broad Appeal
Erica Tamposi ’14
courtesy Comedy Central Studios

little more than three years ago, Erica Tamposi ’14 found herself in the enviable position of weighing job offers from Netflix — for production work similar to what she’d been doing for years — and the NFL Network. She ultimately chose the latter, citing the creative freedom that came with the position as the tiebreaker.

So, how’s that going?

When the NFL handed out its year-end awards at a glitzy gala the night before the Super Bowl a few years ago, Tamposi handed out wedding cakes, cellos and rolls of toilet paper as inconvenient gag gifts to unsuspecting red carpet recipients.

And while most football prognosticators deliver their game picks from the comfort of a studio desk, Tamposi orchestrated a scene at Super Bowl LII in which televised selections were made from inside a scuba tank in the Mall of America.

So, yeah. Creative freedom mission accomplished.

“It was a game-changer in terms of what I wanted to do,” Tamposi says of the NFL opportunity. “I enjoyed the work I got to do in production, but there was no path to get where I wanted to be — now I look at where I am and it’s very cool, but totally unexpected.”

Erica Tamposi NFL network
courtesy NFL Podcast Network

Unexpected in part because Tamposi had “never once” envisioned a career in sports. Growing up in Hollis, New Hampshire, she was a fan of the Patriots and other New England teams, but rarely paid attention to sports otherwise. Her first career aspiration was to become a director.

Tamposi had already carved out a successful career for herself doing production work in Los Angeles, having worked on popular shows like Justified, Mr. Robot, Drunk History and Jennifer Lopez’s World of Dance, when the NFL offer materialized. The Netflix offer was for similar work on its original show, Altered Carbon.

But when she arrived for the interview with the NFL Network, she realized the job was a bit more of a hybrid that would allow her to lean on her production skills while also tapping into her sense of humor and creativity.

“I was managing a lot and it was super fun, but I was also getting further and further away from the creative input side,” Tamposi says of the production work that preceded her current role. “And that’s not what I had set my sights on.”

Her work for the NFL Network certainly is. She produces the outlet’s most popular podcast and several other shows, has been featured on-air and in voice-overs and has contributed to several fantasy football-related projects. She’s also had the chance to work at three Super Bowls.

That breadth of creativity and introduction to podcasting – coupled with her natural wit – opened other doors, as well. Tamposi is the producer and co-host of the Jeselnik and Rosenthal Vanity Project podcast with comedian Anthony Jeselnik. She also co-created and co-hosts another with former NFL Network colleague Emma Samocki called The BroadCast Podcast, which has developed a loyal following and was recently profiled by Los Angeles-based magazine Voyage LA.

“I always sort of had that funny, sarcastic gene in me, but to be on the front-facing side of it, I never pictured I’d be doing that. It’s been really fun and sort of challenging,” Tamposi says.

The NFL job has provided enriching opportunities that go well beyond jokes, too. Tamposi, who had previously come out to close friends and family, was given the opportunity to write an op-ed on in October 2020 headlined “Out in the NFL: My journey from secrecy to security as a gay woman in football.” Tamposi said she was overwhelmed by how positively it was received and was moved by the outpouring of responses that came her way.

Through it all, Tamposi remains proud of her New Hampshire roots (the oldest of three siblings, her middle brother graduated from UNH and her younger brother is a senior). She credits UNH for providing hands-on experience that opened career doors — and for helping her grow into the person she is.

“I wouldn’t have found myself if it wasn’t for UNH,” Tamposi says.