Jon Jackson was named Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs in July of 2013 after serving as Associate Athletics Director in various roles since 2007. Currently, while serving on the executive leadership team for Duke Athletics, Jackson leads a staff of more than 35 employees in the digital / social media, marketing and promotions, media relations, ticket operations, and video production departments. Also the athletics department’s primary liaison with campus communication groups, Jackson is the administrator for the Blue Devils’ wrestling program, which secured its best NCAA finish in 2014 and, as a non-scholarship program, recorded its highest NCAA Championships placement the past three seasons.
Additionally, the 25-year college athletics veteran manages Duke Athletics’ strategic communication, including that of its highly visible and successful men’s basketball program. Jackson handles media activities specifically relating to Duke Head Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski. During Jackson’s tenure, Duke has realized 91 honors by players recognized as National Player of the Year (five), National Defensive Player of the Year (four), All-American (25), ACC Player of the Year (six), ACC Rookie of the Year (six) and All-ACC (45).
Since taking over the Duke External Affairs area in summer 2013, Jackson has overseen dramatic growth in the award-winning division, including generating record revenue numbers annually and 20% gross revenue growth from 2013-16; hiring and organizing the group’s diverse leadership team; adding major resource to both personnel and funding; purchasing the first video production truck in the history of the university; bringing athletics event live streaming to tablets and smartphones; bringing the department’s first full-time football marketing, social media and photography employees to Durham; implementing a digital ticketing platform; renovating multiple areas, including the Duke Wrestling practice facility and the Bill Brill Media Room in Cameron Indoor Stadium; and developing a solution in conjunction with University Archives to properly maintain historical information. Since 2013, Duke’s sports information, marketing and video staffs all earned national recognition for excellence in their respective fields.
Recognizing the changing information consumption habits of fans, Jackson and his team ensured that Duke remains on the forefront in the digital media space. In 2012, Duke launched the Blue Devil Network, which features live and on demand video and audio content from its 27 varsity sports and utilizes the school’s official athletic website, GoDuke.com, to power the digital network. In 2015-16, the Blue Devil Network staff produced in excess of 100 live broadcast quality Duke events, many of which were shown on the ESPN3 platform, and 1.4 million on demand videos were viewed via the school’s website. As of 2016, Duke is one of just three ACC schools with a production truck to serve the ever-changing video needs of its department.
The Duke digital media team, overseen by Jackson, has orchestrated robust expansion in this sector as GoDuke.com’s page views are projected to exceed 23 million in 2016, while unique visitors should surpass eight million, a 13% increase since 2012. Unique visitors, mobile visits, average visit durations, live event and on-demand video views, subscription revenue and advertising sales have trended in a positive direction for the past several years, including establishing record-high subscription and auction revenue numbers in 2015-16. GoDuke.com was relaunched with a new responsive design in September of 2015. In April of 2015, while the men’s basketball program was on its way to its fifth NCAA championship, GoDuke.com recorded the first one million page view day in its history. Duke fans have downloaded more than 140,000 composite mobile applications on iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
The department’s official Facebook account consistently ranks among the nation’s top 20 nationally with more than 462,000 “likes” and Duke achieved a top 20 social media ranking (first among private schools) within college athletics from SportsFanGraphs, which measures fans and engagement. Duke Athletics’ Instagram (64% increase from 2015 to 2016) and Twitter (18% from 2015 to 2016) accounts have increased significantly, and the social media team orchestrated the department’s first Facebook Live video on Football Signing Day 2016.
Jackson is a member of several organizations and committees, including the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), the Atlantic Coast Conference Multimedia Rights / ACC Network Committee, the ACC Football In-Stadium Fan Experience and Attendance Committee, the Duke University Communications Executive Council (CEC), the Duke University Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations Senior Leadership Team (PAGR), the Duke Athletics Crisis Management Team, the Football Writers Association of America, and the United States Basketball Writers Association. A long-time member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), Jackson also served his alma mater as a member of the Penn State University John Curley Center for Sports Journalism Board of Visitors from 2007–12.
Jackson arrived in Durham in January 2000 after being named Duke Sports Information Director. Previously, he served as an Assistant Athletics Director for Communication at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. While at SMU, Jackson oversaw the media efforts for all 17 of the school’s intercollegiate sports and was the primary contact for the Mustang football and men’s basketball programs. He began his SMU career as an Assistant Sports Information Director in 1991.
Jackson went to SMU after working for one year as a Staff Assistant at the University of Florida in 1990-91 and three years as a student assistant at the Penn State University SID office. He also interned with the United States Olympic Committee during the summer of 1990. A native of Lebanon, Pa., Jackson graduated from Penn State University with distinction in 1990 with a B.A. degree in mass communications.
Jackson and his wife Cheryl reside in Durham. He has two children – daughter Kailey and son Evan.