20-Year FOX Sports Southwest Executive Heads to His Alma Mater
PLANO, Texas – In preparation for ushering in its newly refined and extensive campus-wide relationship with Texas A&M University on July 1, Learfield announced today the addition of Jon Heidtke, an Aggie and prominent industry executive. Heidtke will serve as a senior vice president of Learfield and relocate to College Station, where he will oversee all aspects of the university’s new, cutting-edge business partnership program.
Heidtke spent the past two decades as senior vice president and general manager for FOX Sports Southwest, where he is credited for successfully leading the Network’s growth and evolution, as well as introducing new programming agreements and partnerships. Additionally, Heidtke’s highly regarded business acumen and ability to create strategic partnerships with professional team owners, collegiate athletic directors, conference commissioners and decision makers at blue-chip companies have been a driver in his 35-year professional career.
“We are beyond pleased that Jon has joined us to lead this expansive project at Texas A&M,” said Learfield President and CEO Greg Brown. “While we have been partnered with the Aggies since 2006, our innovative business relationship is extremely collaborative with the entire Texas A&M campus community. Jon’s business experience and existing relationships throughout the university will bring great value to A&M.”
A former student at Texas A&M, Heidtke has served as a trustee on the 12th Man Foundation Board. In 2002, the 12th Man Magazine named him “The Most Influential Aggie in Sports” and in 2005, he entered the Texas A&M Former Journalism Students Association Hall of Honor. Over the years, he has been significantly involved with various sports organizations and sits on the board of directors for the National Sports Marketing Network, SMU Athletic Forum, the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the Dallas All Sports Association.
“Texas A&M and Learfield have collaborated to develop a terrific new partnership program, and I am honored to help lead this effort,” Heidtke said. “It is thrilling to be headed back to College Station, a place that is so special to me and my family.”
A native Texan, Heidtke began his television career in 1981 as a sports anchor/reporter for KBTX-TV in Bryan, Texas and never looked back. Before joining FOX, he managed a 15-state region for ESPN as a Southeast account manager and spent three years as regional sales manager for Chicago-based SportsVision. In 1994, Heidtke became one of the youngest general managers in the regional sports television industry when he assumed the top post at Home Sports Entertainment, the predecessor to FOX Sports Southwest. Two years later, he was named senior vice president/general manager when FOX combined the nation’s top regional sports networks under one banner and created FOX Sports Network.
Brown added, “Jon loves Texas A&M and throughout his career has maintained close ties to his alma mater. He is respected and trusted among his peers, and we know he will be a significant leader for us as we create this dynamic program with university leadership.”
The broader, more comprehensive relationship between Learfield and Texas A&M was introduced with an announcement from the University in December 2015. As stated in that announcement, “the size and scope of this new agreement will provide Texas A&M with many valuable benefits that will support our academic mission and service to our students and the people of Texas.”
The Learfield Texas A&M team will be complemented with sales offices in Dallas and Houston. The enhanced campus-wide partnership will continue to include powerful marketing opportunities within Texas A&M Athletics.
Texas A&M University is one of the largest and most diversified institutions of higher learning in the nation, with a record enrollment of more than 64,000 students. As one of the world’s leading research institutions, with expenditures of more than $866 million, Texas A&M is conducting cutting-edge research that is changing lives worldwide and helping to stimulate the Texas economy. One of a select few institutions to hold triple federal designation as a land-, sea- and space-grant university, Texas A&M develops leaders of character dedicated to serving the greater good.
An industry leader for more than four decades, Learfield has a deep presence in the college athletics landscape nationwide. It manages the multimedia and sponsorship rights for more than 120 collegiate institutions, conferences and arenas, and supports athletic departments at all competitive levels as title sponsor of the prestigious Learfield Directors’ Cup. Learfield also provides its collegiate partners access to professional concessions and ticket sales; licensing and trademark consulting; digital platform expertise; and venue display and technology systems through its affiliated companies. In February, the collegiate marketer also acquired the social media agency, Think Social. For more about Learfield’s history, businesses and career opportunities, visit www.learfieldsports.com.