The Harlem Globetrotters have appointed former Nickelodeon exec Keith Dawkins as president as the iconic basketball franchise looks to push further into content, Deadline reports.
Parent company Herschend Enterprises has made the hire. The brand’s media division Herschend Entertainment Studios (HES) has to date produced shows including Chuggington and the PBS Kids animated series Splash and Bubbles.
Dawkins will lead both entities in the newly created role of President, Harlem Globetrotters & Herschend Entertainment Studios.
Dawkins, who spent 17 years at Viacom (now ViacomCBS), was executive vice president at Nickelodeon. While there he launched the Nickelodeon Sports initiative, striking partnerships with the NFL, NASCAR, the PGA Tour, MLS and WWE.
After his run at Nickelodeon, he went on to lead junior golf nonprofit The First Tee, and was most recently founder and CEO of Rock Hill Media Ventures. There, he forged partnerships with the National Basketball Players Association and Dear Basketball producers Believe Entertainment.
“As we head toward a tremendous milestone, marking our 100th year, there’s never been a more exciting time for the Harlem Globetrotters,” said Herschend Enterprises CEO Andrew Wexler. “With ambitious plans in place for new content and branded media ventures, we know Keith will bring the perfect blend of expertise and drive needed to propel us to the next level.”
“I grew up on the Globetrotters,” Dawkins said. “Their rich history of entertaining and inspiring kids and families, both on and off the court, is undeniable. They are basketball royalty and we have a unique opportunity to expand the brand and reach an entirely new, diverse generation of fans by amplifying the way we do business.”
The Globetrotters recently teamed up with Snoop Dogg to produce video content and music promoting the team’s 2022 Spread Game Tour. Snoop and Globetrotters also collaborated on an NFT collection, including NFT sitcom, Da Dogg Gone Gym, starring Snoop Dogg alongside Junebug.
“From content to marketing consumer products and international development—we look forward to bolstering the Globetrotters brand so it continues to thrive for another 100 years,” added Dawkins.