At the age of 27, Nicole Hawkins was named Public Relations Director for the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Washington Wizards. Nicole made history as the first African American woman to be named Public Relations Director for an NBA franchise. While working with the Wizards, Nicole worked closely with players, coaches, staff and members of the media. She was responsible for all aspects of running the department which included pitching and facilitating media interviews, traveling with the team to ensure all media relations requirements were met and ensuring that game night media operations ran efficiently.
Although she loved working for a professional sports team, Nicole always envisioned starting her own business. She wanted to continue her work in the sports field while also working with other types of clients that interested her including those in the non-profit sector, entertainment and media. So at the age of 30, she established Nicole Hawkins Communications (NHC) with the goal of providing top-quality work with integrity and authenticity while giving every client the personalized attention they deserve. Since founding NHC in 2004, Nicole has worked with organizations including the Atlantic 10 Conference, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, ABC 7/Newschannel 8, Panera Bread, AARP and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.
Nicole has always been interested in using sports to help others. In February of 2017, she was named Director of the George Washington University Sports Philanthropy Executive Certificate Program. This first-of-its-kind program is designed for professionals currently working in, as well as those interested in entering, the field of sports philanthropy.
Noticing a lack of media coverage surrounding athletes who are making a positive impact in their communities, Nicole launched Admirable Athlete in the fall of 2016. Admirable Athlete is a multi-media platform that focuses on only the good work athletes are doing off of the field of play.
Nicole serves on the Advisory Board for Washington Redskins Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan’s Blitz for the Better Foundation, which provides support to ill, special needs and physically challenged children in the Washington, DC area. Previously, she served on the Board of Directors for Most Valuable Kids and the Foundation Schools. Nicole is a member of ColorComm, an organization designed to unite diverse women in the communications industry and the Association of Women in Sports Media (AWSM), an organization that supports the advancement of women working in various aspects of sports media.
Born and raised in Watertown, New York Nicole is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park.