Vice President, Programming & Acquisitions, ESPN
Nick Dawson was promoted to vice president, programming and acquisitions in August 2015. He oversees college football programming, college basketball, NCAA Championships and additional college sports across the ESPN networks and leads the team that serves as the daily contact for all major areas and businesses both within the company and externally, including all leagues, conferences, schools, bowls, and the College Football Playoff. Nick expanded his oversight beyond just college football in April 2017.
Prior to August 2015, Dawson was a senior director, overseeing ESPN’s college basketball programming and acquisitions. In that role, he was charged with maximizing games and content across ESPN platforms while leading major rights acquisitions for the category. Over his seven years in the position, Dawson led ESPN’s men’s college basketball game coverage to its six most-viewed seasons ever and played an integral role in the creation and launch of two signature owned and operated events, the Champions Classic and Armed Forces Classic.
Dawson moved to ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., campus in August 2004, where he has held several positions in the programming and acquisitions department. He has managed relationships with MLS, US Soccer, USATF, MLL and various billiards properties. He led successful rights negotiations for the FIBA Americas Championship, NBA Europe Live, NBA China, USATF and multiple billiards events, while assisting on ESPN’s 2007 NBA rights extension. He was also the lead on program scheduling for NBA, soccer, Olympic sports, billiards and Black History Month.
In January 2002, Dawson began his ESPN career working for ESPN Regional Television in Lawrence, Kan., as a sales associate/account executive.
A native of Hutchinson, Kan., Dawson earned a bachelor of science in education from the University of Kansas with Highest Distinction Honors. He also received an associate of science degree from Garden City Community College (Kan.) in May 2000, where he earned NJCAA Academic All-American honors as part of the football program.
Navigating the College Sports Media Future
The ever-changing sports media landscape has a chronic impact on collegiate athletics, from rights fees to conference realignment to finding your audience, creating a difficult proposition for college conferences. Our panel of sports media experts will look into the future of these challenging times.