Scotsman Mark Donaldson joined ESPN in 2010 as a soccer and tennis play-by-play commentator, as well as an on-course reporter for major golf events. Over the past decade he has been a part of ESPN’s coverage of a variety of high-profile events, including the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA European Football Championship, World Series baseball, Wimbledon, Australian Open tennis and both US Open and Open Championship golf.
Donaldson is currently ESPN’s lead play-by-play voice for Italian Serie A. Both he and analyst Matteo Bonetti have been the commentary team for Serie A, as well as Coppa Italia, since Italian soccer debuted on ESPN in 2018.
Donaldson was part of ESPN’s team of commentators for Euro 2016, and he also called matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup for ESPN Radio in the United States. Donaldson co-hosted a nightly SportsCenter for ESPN’s international audience during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He was also the lead play-by-play voice for the UEFA Champions League for six years for the company’s international networks and has also worked the International Champions Cup (ICC) and other top soccer events.
In addition to his regular work in soccer, Donaldson also co-hosts the popular baseball show Caps Off, a joint ESPN/MLB production for BT Sport in the UK, which is filmed each week at ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Conn. Donaldson and his co-presenter Phil Murphy hosted live pre-game shows nightly from both Washington and Houston during the 2019 World Series. They were also part of BT Sport’s coverage of the London Series in June 2019 when the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox played the first ever MLB regular season games in Europe.
The Edinburgh-born broadcaster hosted the popular Champions League highlights show for ESPN’s audience in Australia and New Zealand for five years. His call of Lionel Messi scoring the opening goal for Barcelona against Athletic Bilbao in the 2015 Copa del Rey final was heard regularly on SportsCenter, with Messi’s fantastic effort voted No. 1 in the Top Ten and being voted Best of the Best.
In tennis, Donaldson commentates annually on the Australian Open in Melbourne, Wimbledon, and the US Open in New York for ESPN+ and across ESPN’s digital platforms. Along with Steph Brantz, Donaldson also co-hosts US Open Primetime – a half-hour nightly show in Australia and New Zealand during the tournament in New York.
In golf, Donaldson has been part of ESPN’s interactive coverage of the US Open since 2011 and The Open Championship since 2010, working with host Trey Wingo and former Major winners David Duval and Tom Weiskopf as on-course reporter.
Donaldson moved to the United States in 2010 from Scotland where he owned the successful sports agency multimediasport, which provided content for various clients in television, radio and newspapers, including Sky Sports and talkSPORT Radio. He also provided voiceovers for major companies.
Prior to his work with multimediasport, Donaldson was sports editor at Radio Forth in Edinburgh for 10 years, a position he was appointed to at the age of just 20.
In addition to his role as a broadcaster and commentator, Donaldson is the author of three books. His first, BELIEVE: From Turmoil to Triumph at Tynecastle, told the inside story of a Russian submariner’s tumultuous seven-year spell as owner of Heart of Midlothian Football Club. Donaldson was shortlisted for Best New Writer in Great Britain in 2007 by the National Sporting Club of Great Britain and he finished in the top three.
After ghostwriting his second book Maroon Heart – the autobiography of former Scotland midfielder Gary Mackay, Donaldson was approached by ESPN colleague and Liverpool legend Steve Nicol to write his autobiography. FIVE LEAGUE TITLES AND A PACKET OF CRISPS, released in September 2016, details Nicol’s career at Anfield, how he missed a penalty in a European Cup Final at the age of just 22 and why the Liverpool players struggled to cope after Hillsborough. Nicol also looks back at his 10 years in Major League Soccer as coach of the New England Revolution.