Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Jon Jackson was named Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs in July of 2014 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.
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 77 honors by players recognized as National Player of the Year (five), National Defensive Player of the Year (four), All-American (23), ACC Player of the Year (five), and All-ACC (40).
Since taking over the Duke External Affairs area in summer 2013, Jackson has overseen dramatic growth in the 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; developing a solution in conjunction with University Archives to properly maintain historical information; hiring the first full-time football marketing and social media employees at Duke Athletics; securing a rewards-based social media fan engagement program; renovating multiple areas, including the Duke Wrestling practice facility and Duke Marketing & Promotions suite to create better efficiency. Also 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 26 varsity sports and utilizes the school’s official athletic website, GoDuke.com, to power the digital network. The Duke digital media team has orchestrated robust expansion in this sector as GoDuke.com’s traffic increased 38% during a three-year window from 2011-13 to reach more than eight million unique visitors for the first time. 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. Duke fans have downloaded more than 100,000 composite mobile applications on iPhone, IPad and Android devices. The school’s official Facebook account consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 nationally with more than 450,000 “likes” and its Instagram (84% increase from 2013 to 2014) and Twitter (61% from 2013 to 2014) 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.