Nick Dawson

Nick Dawson

Senior Vice President, College Sports Programming & Acquisitions

Nick Dawson was promoted to senior vice president, college sports programming and acquisitions in June 2023. In his new role, Dawson now oversees ESPN’s entire college sports portfolio, including its NCAA, College Football Playoff and conference relationships, all college networks, and ESPN Events.

Dawson is responsible for all college sports programming across ESPN platforms – more than 27,600 events during the 2022-23 academic year. The unmatched breadth and scope of content features the College Football Playoff, 31 NCAA Championships, college football, men’s and women’s basketball, dozens of Olympic sports, and more than 30 owned-and-operated events.

Dawson 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 CFP. With his most recent promotion, Dawson added oversight of ESPN’s college networks – SEC Network, ACC Network and Longhorn Network.

He has overseen college football, college basketball, NCAA Championships and additional college sports across the ESPN networks since being named vice president, college sports programming and acquisitions in August 2015. Dawson has also played a significant role in major conference rights agreements with the SEC and Big 12, as well as other recent agreements with the American, CUSA, and more.

From 2015-17, Dawson focused on ESPN’s expansive college football property, before adding the additional sports to his portfolio.

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 of two signature owned and operated events, the Champions Classic and Armed Forces Classic.

Dawson has held multiple positions in the programming and acquisitions department since he moved to ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., campus in August 2004. He previously managed relationships with MLS, US Soccer, USA Track & Field, Major League Lacrosse 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 program scheduling lead 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.

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