ESPN Names Michael Thomson Jr. as Vice President, Programming & Acquisitions

ESPN has named Michael Thompson Jr. to the new role of Vice President, Programming & Acquisitions.

What’s Happening: 

  • ESPN has announced today that Michael Thompson Jr. will be stepping into a newly created role.
  • Serving as Vice President, Programming & Acquisitions, Thompson will work on ESPN college network properties as well as serve as a point of contact for the Southeastern Conference.
  • He’ll be responsible for SEC Network’s programming strategy, content acquisitions, live event scheduling and P & L; long-term strategy for SEC Network and SEC Network+, as well as overseeing content and publication for
  • Additionally, Thompson will oversee programming strategy and scheduling for Longhorn Network, ESPN’s 24-hour network devoted to the University of Texas.
  • He will be based at SEC Network’s headquarters in Charlotte, N.C.

Michael Thompson Jr. Career Highlights:

  • Throughout his career, Thompson has worked in executive roles at Ole Miss and Texas A&M and spent nine years at Oxford
  • He most recently served as Deputy Athletics Director for External Relations and Business Development at Texas A&M.
  • His experience also includes being named President of NACMA (National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators) and he’s been recognized for his leadership with his team earning the 2019 Technology Innovation Award by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
  • At Texas A&M he helped to expand the Aggie brand both nationally and globally and worked on cross-departmental initiatives in communications and marketing, ticketing and more.
  • While in Oxford, Thompson was the SEC Network point of contact and the university’s representative on the SEC Fan Experience.
  • Thompson has also served as adjunct professor in integrated marketing communications at Ole Miss.

What They’re Saying:

  • Michael Thompson Jr.: “College sports, and especially the Southeastern Conference, have been a common thread throughout my and my family’s lives for decades, and I’m thrilled for this new opportunity at ESPN. It’s really the best of both worlds – the opportunity to work with the talented team at ESPN on compelling programming, powerful storytelling and innovative ways to reach our audience, combined with continuing to work with Commissioner Sankey, Charlie Hussey and the incredible staff at the SEC office, as well as my colleagues on campuses across the country.”
  • Michael Thompson Jr.: “I’m incredibly grateful for the support of my family, Ross’s [Bjork] leadership and trust over the past 12 years, and ESPN’s confidence in me for this role. I can’t wait to get started.”
  • Ilan Ben-Hanan, ESPN senior vice president, programming & acquisitions: “We’re so excited to welcome Michael to ESPN. His deep connections and strong relationships throughout the college sports community will serve us well as we continue to grow and evolve our college networks business.”