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, Jackson oversees Duke Athletics’ marketing, ticket operations, digital media, sports information and video operations departments. The athletics department’s primary liaison with campus communication groups, Jackson is the administrator for the Blue Devils’ wrestling program, which secured its highest NCAA finish in 2014 and, as a non-scholarship program, placed in the top 30 nationally the past two seasons.
Additionally, he is responsible for 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 82 honors by players recognized as National Player of the Year (five), National Defensive Player of the Year (four), All-American (24), ACC Player of the Year (six), and All-ACC (43).
Since taking over the Duke External Affairs area in summer 2013, Jackson has overseen dramatic growth in the award-winning division, including adding major resource to both personnel and funding; purchasing the first video production trailer in the history of the university; bringing athletics event live streaming to tablets and smartphones; hiring the first full-time football marketing and social media employees in Duke Athletics; securing a rewards-based social media fan engagement program; implementing a digital ticketing platform to Duke Athletics; developing a solution in conjunction with University Archives to properly maintain historical information; renovating multiple areas, including the Duke Wrestling practice facility. In 2013-14, Duke’s sports information, marketing and video staffs 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 2014-15, the Blue Devil Network staff produced in excess of 120 live broadcast quality Duke games, many of which were shown on the ESPN3 platform. As of 2015, 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 traffic increased 15% during a three-year window from 2012-14. The site reached nine million unique visitors for the first time in 2014. Unique visitors, mobile visits, average visit durations, live event 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 2014. GoDuke.com was relaunched with a new responsive design in September of 2015. In April 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 133,000 composite mobile applications on iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The school’s official Facebook account consistently ranks among the nation’s top 20 nationally with more than 463,000 “likes” and its Instagram (197% increase from 2014 to 2015) and Twitter (56% from 2014 to 2015) accounts have increased significantly.
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.