Inside Aileen Hnatiuk’s meteoric media rise after viral video that made NFL fans ‘change their team’
AILEEN HNATIUK has become one of the country’s most recognized reporters – all thanks to…
AILEEN HNATIUK has become one of the country’s most recognized reporters – all thanks to one viral clip.
The Florida native, 26, shot to social media fame after her NFL season sign-off was shared widely online earlier this month.
Hnatiuk currently covers New Orleans Saints for BRProud in Louisiana.
She grew up in the small town of Weeki Wachee, north of Tampa.
Aileen is the daughter of Glen Hnatiuk, a PGA Tour golfer in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Canadian-born Glen turned pro in 1990 and won four times on the PGA Nationwide Tour.
He’s estimated to have racked up over $2.5m in prize money from his golf career.
And this love of sport clearly passed down to Aileen, who was a keen volleyball star at high school and college.
Hnatiuk attended East Carolina University and alongside her major in communications played for the ECU Pirates.
During her time at the college, she soaked in experience with ESPN, WNCN-TV, and WITN-TV.
And that allowed her to step straight into a sports reporting role out of college, joining NBC29 WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, VA.
Before taking her current role with BRPRoud, Aileen freelanced back in Florida and joined CBS as a sideline reporter for the Rowdies.
This season she covered all things Saints for NBC33/FOX44 as New Orleans missed out on the NFL playoffs.
But Aileen appeared to have the time of her life, regularly updating her growing fanbase with behind-the-scenes moments.
And her sign-off clip – where she told fans “that’s a wrap” – was viewed over six million times on Twitter.
Watching the viral madness unfold and her follower count go through the roof, Aileen took to her own account to respond.
She wrote: “Y’all are wild lmao.”
While some NFL fans were willing to give up their own allegiances to follow Aileen and the Saints in 2023.
One wrote: “Erm, I’m now a Saints fan.”
While another replied: “New Orleans, knew you were always my No1.”