(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)February 11, 2022
The Harlem Globetrotters have been entertaining fans around the world with their athleticism, outstanding basketball skills and theatrics since 1927. Ramapo alumnus Keith Dawkins ’94, who was recently named president of the iconic franchise, called the Globetrotters “basketball royalty.”
“I grew up on the Globetrotters. Their rich history of entertaining and inspiring kids and families, both on and off the court, is undeniable,” said Dawkins in a recent interview. Following a successful 17-year career with Viacom, he was named Executive Vice President at Nickelodeon where he launched the Nickelodeon Sports initiative, striking partnerships with the NFL, NASCAR, the PGA Tour, MLS, and WWE. After his time at Nickelodeon, Dawkins went on to lead junior golf nonprofit The First Tee, and was most recently founder and CEO of Rock Hill Media Ventures.
Dawkins, who also serves on the Ramapo Foundation Board of Governors, talked about his new appointment and next adventure in the media entertainment world.
Alumni Award of Merit Recipient
On May 12, 2022, Keith Dawkins ’94 will be presented with the Alumni Award of Merit at the Class of 2022 Undergraduate Ceremony.
The Harlem Globetrotters are more than an iconic basketball franchise…for so many young (and young at heart) folks. What are your memories of them when you were growing up?
Content choices were different when I was a kid. There wasn’t an internet, YouTube, Instagram, streaming channels or 200 different channel choices. Content options were limited and the Harlem Globetrotters were one of those truly global iconic family brands that brought people together through the world of sports. They also spoke to me because it was great to see people who looked like me on television being celebrated by the masses.
What will your role entail as president of the Harlem Globetrotters?
As President I’m in charge of both the Harlem Globetrotters and the parent company’s entertainment studio, Herschend Entertainment Studio. The assignment has me overseeing all facets of the Harlem Globetrotters business and the content that we cultivate out of our studio operations.
You have had tremendous success throughout your career. What is the plan going forward for the Globetrotters?
We want to connect the Harlem Globetrotters to the next generation of kids (and families). In order to do that, we need to transform them from a business that is built largely around a touring experience into a global multifaceted media/entertainment experience.
You remain an active alumnus at Ramapo College. How has your experience here as a student helped you throughout your career?
I like to tell people that I got two big things out of my Ramapo education; my career started because of my internship at CNBC while I was a student and I met my wife at the College. Not bad!
What advice can you offer current students whose career paths might be so clear to them yet?
It’s okay for your career path to not be clear. Don’t succumb to the pressure of those that tell you otherwise. I would tell students to network, be inquisitive, pursue those internships, put yourself out there, be okay with being out your comfort zone, jump at opportunities and do really good work when you get that opportunity.
About Ramapo College
Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Niche.com. Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.
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