Sports Lawyers: Woodie Dixon
“Once you realize at a law firm that you’re going to spend a lot of hours working, you figure you might as well do it on something you love,” Dixon said. “And for me, that’s sports. … I’m not like a lot of these young guys who are going to law school now knowing that they want to get into sports. I didn’t know that I’d wind up in sports when I was in law school. But it ultimately was the way for me to combine my passion with what I do.”
He went back to college a third time at the University of Massachusetts for sports management and that led to positions with the NFL and the Kansas City Chiefs, before he landed at the Pac-12. In two years at the conference, Dixon has been integral in the record $3 billion media rights deal with ESPN and Fox, and the formation of Pac-12 Enterprises.
He also oversees football for the conference, which can put him among coaches, athletic directors, officials and media partners at any given time.
“You’re not so much a lawyer as you are a mediator,” Dixon said. “The gist of being a good sports lawyer is getting everyone to a happy place. The thing about sport is that everyone is a competitor, everyone is trying to win and everyone can’t always win. Everybody’s not always going to be happy, but you’ve got to somehow make them think they’ve won.”