Storyland Studios has announced that the company has opened a new office in London, officially making the company an international one. Storyland appointed Ben Thompson as Chief Strategy Officer and Head of International, effective August 1, 2020. Thompson will run the office just outside London, England.
Ben Thompson has spent 20 years in major corporate brands, leading marketing, sales and strategy teams all over the world, first for Mars Incorporated, then for The Walt Disney Company and finally for Merlin Entertainments. He was Disney’s Regional Marketing Director for the UK and EMEA markets, leading teams in 47 markets on projects such as Star Wars Episode VII, Avengers, Iron Man 3, Spider-Man 2, Frozen, Cars 2 and Brave.
After Disney, Thompson moved to Merlin Entertainments, opening LEGOLAND®️ Parks and Midway sites across the world including Shanghai, Melbourne, Nagoya and Istanbul. He followed up his Merlin time by launching his own strategic marketing firm where he met Mel McGowan of Storyland Studios at IAAPA in 2019. They became friends, formed a successful client-partnership and finally an official team.
“We believe Ben is the perfect individual to lead Storyland Studios’ next chapter of success and growth,” said Mel McGowan, Chief Creative Officer at Storyland. “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!”
In addition to Thompson, Storyland also added Josh Steadman to their growing list of former Disney Imagineers to their team. Josh is an Art/Production Designer and Set Designer with more than 20 years of experience working in television, theater and themed entertainment. He has worked on projects such as Shanghai Disneyland, Marvel Avengers STATION and Evermore where he was an integral part of conceptualising and delivering a ground-breaking immersive experience. While working at Walt Disney Imagineering, he conceptualized, designed and installed the Enchanted Storybook Castle Walkthrough for the world’s largest Disney castle in Shanghai. He holds Thea Awards (Themed Entertainment Association) for both Show Design and Production Design simultaneously for his work on Shanghai Disneyland. With his former Disney experience and similar project work, he’ll fit right in with the Storyland team.