Orlando Arnold, MBA
MLBPA & NFLPA Certified
Orlando Arnold is former Division I-A athlete with over 10 years’ experience in sales, marketing, negotiation, and contracts. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from Alabama State University and an MBA from Troy University. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Orlando was raised in the shadow of Tiger Stadium, The Palace of Auburn Hills, and Ford Field. Growing up in such a rich sports environment gave Orlando a passion for sports early on.
After participating in athletics all through high school and college, Orlando set his sights on a new challenge. The corporate world. The discipline and determination he’d cultivated over the years paid off well in his early years as a sales agent in the hospitality industry. It was here that Orlando learned the inner workings of contracts, negotiation, and marketing. After 5 years, Orlando set his sights on a slightly different challenge and stepped into the fast paced world of pharmaceutical sales. Excelling in this role, Orlando was able to refine his marketing and sales skills and led a high performing team. Throughout this time though, Orlando never lost his passion for athletics.
Shortly after graduating from Alabama State University, Orlando began working in coaching and player development in addition to his corporate career. To this end, he was successful. Orlando used his experience and talent to nurture and develop the skills of young athletes. A consummate and caring professional, Orlando helped 14 of these young athletes move on to the next level in their athletic journey, cultivating relationships with various coaches and athletic personnel along the way.
Although he was raised in the northern Midwest, Orlando has spent nearly the last 15 years in the Southeast. Orlando played his college ball in the Southeast, received his degrees in the southeast, and met his wife there as well. He’s planted a firm foundation with his family and Pyramid Sports & Entertainment Group in the southeast and is prepared to help you reach the pinnacle of success.
Ernest Purnell III
VP / Chief Operations Officer
Ernest Purnell III (EP) oversees all agency operations, relationships and client support including recruitment, statistical analysis, communication and reporting.
EP is a native of Detroit Michigan and had a decorated amateur football career in high school with multiple offers to play collegiate football. Instead, he chose to focus on observation of the game the reporting and analysis aspects of the sport, and has amassed great skill and insight into sports analysis, communication and reporting. He is a self-made expert acquired through years of studying players and the game.
EP, a statistical expert, has a passion for football and has maintained constant attention to the game, and has followed many amateurs throughout the country into the pros. EP has in-depth knowledge of the sport and the keen ability to recognize talent, determine player potential and identify developmental needs. His insight into comparative analyses & analytics of players gives Pyramid Sports & Entertainment Group that competitive advantage.
EP holds a BA in Communications from Alabama State University and after graduating acquired progressive management positions in the public relations and communications industry. EP has greater than a decade of experience in operations and execution in the public relations, media and communications in the Southeastern region of the country.
His well-developed tools of the trade cause him to thrive in this arena, and he is successfully poised to catapult Pyramid Sports & Entertainment Group’s clients to reach the pinnacle of success.
EP is married with two sons and lives in Atlanta, GA.
VP/ General Counsel
Kristina Ross brings a wealth of experience and skill to Pyramid Sports & Entertainment Group. Kristina is an attorney by profession and has expanded her career and credentials breaking into the Sports Industry. Kristina most recently practiced law at Beard Harris Bullock & Hughes, P.C. Her practice focuses on sports agency & management, estate planning and probate law. She and has represented athletes in various sports including basketball, boxing, football, soccer, track and field.
Kristina grew up Tyler, TX. She attended Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire, and was a member of the Dartmouth Women’s Track & Field Team. After college, Kristina worked at the Wall Street law firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. She went on to earn her J.D. from St. Mary’s School of Law in San Antonio, Texas. While at St. Mary’s, she interned with the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office in the Family Violence Division and served as President of the Sports & Entertainment Law Society. In 2017, she completed the Sports Industry Essentials Program and Sports Management at Columbia University. In 2018, Kristina became certified as an NFLPA contract advisor, making her one of the few NFL agents in East Texas. Kristina understands the legal, and contractual aspects of the game.
Kristina is highly active in the community. a member of the Junior League of Tyler and serves on the Board of Directors for People Attempting to Help (PATH). Additionally, Kristina is a volunteer Pro Bono Attorney and has served on the Smith County Young Lawyers Board of Directors. She was named a Fellow for the Texas Bar Foundation, which extends membership to attorneys based on their outstanding professional achievements and demonstrated commitment to the improvement of the justice system.
With Pyramid Sports & Entertainment Group, Kristina acts as both a Sports Lawyer and Agent, representing the legal and financial interests of our clients, which include our Players and Coaches. She is a chief contributor to every aspect of contract negotiation, review, marketing, and media endorsements to ensure the best contract deal for our clients.
Director of Media Training
Athletes and coaches from T-Ball, to the Pro's have been "Chopping it up" with Dee Jackson for over 25 years! The Emmy winning Sportscaster has made his mark on the industry and is now taking his experiences from the sidelines, and locker rooms, to the front of the class to help today's Athletes reach their full potential, helping their personal and professional brands through media training.
Jackson has traveled across the country covering some of the nation top sporting events and knows just how hot the spotlight can be for today's top performers. He brings a wealth of first hand experience in media coaching as well as athletic marketing and presentation to Pyramid Sports Group.
Courtney Funchess, MBA
Director of Client Engagement & Partnerships
Courtney Funchess hails from Farmington Hills, Michigan, and like many Michiganders possesses a love of sports. Growing up she developed a love for sports, football and track, and became a decorated athlete in track. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan. The transition from athlete to sports management professional began during her time at the University of Michigan where she interned for the football department under the Director of Player Personnel assisting with all aspects of recruitment.
After graduating with a dual bachelor’s degree in Sports Management and Sociology, her love and passion for sports continued and she pursued her interests further by obtaining a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a sports management concentration from Tiffin University while focusing on becoming a certified NFLPA agent.
During her graduate studies, she clinched a position with the Allstate Sugar Bowl as an Events and Marketing Associate. This opportunity proved to be a tremendous growth opportunity. She was engaged in all aspects of the Bowl planning and operations from marketing, public relations, and event planning to player relations. The depth of experience and skill Courtney gained in her role with the Sugar Bowl catapulted her career. Following her stint with the Sugar Bowl, Courtney was well positioned to work with the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans as a Public Relations Associate.
Well-grounded in sports management, marketing, relationship management, and player development, Courtney joins Pyramid Sports and Entertainment Group as the Director of Client Engagement & Partnership, where she will monitor and manage the overall client experience, build and mine new business partnerships, lead the team in strategic marketing tactics and expand the eCommerce product line.
Courtney brings excellent organizational and planning skills and is comfortable working in an interagency environment.
Courtney currently resides in the Metropolitan Detroit area.