Home is Where the Sports Are

Midco Sports partnership with UND means increased funding for student-athlete scholarships and Champions Club, along with expanded viewing coverage.

From the day Brian Shawn, ’02, stepped foot on UND’s campus in the fall of 1997, he knew he wanted to become a sports broadcaster. The part that he didn’t imagine was that his ambition would land him a key role for his alma mater through a special broadcasting partnership. 

Today, Brian is the voice of Fighting Hawks football and basketball games televised on Midco Sports. He enjoys the excitement of calling live games and likes the storytelling element that comes from building connections on the campus where he launched his career. 

Brian Shawn and Val Sussex

Brian Shawn (left) is joined by Val Sussex, Director of the North Dakota Champions Club, for UND women’s basketball broadcasts on Midco Sports. 

“Telling stories is the most rewarding aspect of what I do. I love getting to know people on a personal level and sharing their story. I keep in touch with several student-athletes as they have moved on to their next chapters,” Brian said. 

Brian got his first shot on live TV in 1998 as a sports reporter for Studio One, UND’s former campus television station. He turned that opportunity into more than two decades of sports coverage, most of which were spent in North Dakota. Brian’s journey came full circle when he called his first Fighting Hawks football game during Homecoming weekend in 2022. That broadcast took place exactly 24 years after his first Studio One broadcast. 

We’re seeing the investment from the Grand Forks community and that’s the most exciting part of the future to me.Brian Shawn, ’02

In 2022, his role at Midco Sports shifted even closer to home as the company announced a four-year television rights partnership with UND to expand coverage of Fighting Hawks games. The new partnership – and the Midco Sports Plus app – allows fans to watch more Fighting Hawks live events as well as games of other Summit League teams. 

The most important element of the partnership, however, is the support it provides to student-athletes. The funding from Midco Sports will go directly toward scholarships and the Champions Club to bolster all athletic programs. 

“I really feel like all of the programs are trending up,” Brian said. “It seems like UND has the coaches, students, facilities and funding support to reach the next level across the board. We’re seeing the investment from the Grand Forks community and that’s the most exciting part of the future to me.”

Today, Brian feels right at home calling games for his alma mater. Commuting from Fargo for each UND broadcast, he always drives down University Avenue to enjoy the memories of the journey that brought him back to the place he once called home.

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