Mike Aresco has established himself as one of the leading figures in intercollegiate sports as commissioner of the American Athletic Conference.
Aresco was named to his current position Aug. 14, 2012, and had his contract extended to Aug. 1, 2022, by The American’s Board of Directors in 2017. He has overseen a strategic reinvention of the conference, which has become one of the premier conferences in the nation.
Among the milestones reached during Aresco’s tenure have been the introduction of the American Athletic Conference Football Championship in 2015 and the launching of a dynamic Power 6 branding campaign, which aligns The American with its peer conferences and celebrates the competitive success that the conference has enjoyed at the highest level of collegiate competition.
Aresco additionally secured The American's prominent place in intercollegiate athletics by brokering an expansive 12-year media rights partnership with ESPN in 2019, which will provide unprecedented revenue to member institutions while enhancing the conference's exposure on the premier platforms in sports media.
Aresco came to the conference from CBS Sports where he was Executive Vice President, Programming. He was responsible for all college sports programming for CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network. Aresco oversaw the acquisition and management of CBS Sports college properties, including the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, regular-season college basketball and football, conference basketball championship games, football bowl games and other programming.
Aresco joined CBS Sports from ESPN where he was responsible for overseeing the acquisition, scheduling and development of long-term strategies for all ESPN college sports properties. He joined ESPN in 1984 as Counsel and was named Assistant General Counsel in 1988 before moving to the programming department.
Inside the Deal
AAC & ESPN: A 12-Year Media-Rights Deal
Moderator: John Ourand, Staff Writer, Sports Business Journal