Mike Dickson Honored With 2024 Bud Collins Media Award – BNP Paribas Open

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Famed British tennis writer leaves behind enduring legacy of journalistic excellence, passion and camaraderie in the sport

For nearly four decades, British journalist Mike Dickson traveled the world living his dream as a sports reporter with an unparalleled voice and writing craft. A tennis correspondent for the Daily Mail, Dickson tragically passed away in January while covering his 24th Australian Open in Melbourne.

A titan of sports journalism whose words resonated among fans, peers, and athletes alike, Dickson left a mark on the sport he loved. As the tennis world gathers once again at Indian Wells, the BNP Paribas Open has named Mike Dickson as the 2024 Bud Collins Media Award recipient for his unparalleled contributions to tennis journalism.

“We are very touched to see Mike honored in this way,” his wife, Lucy Dickson, said. “He was committed to journalistic excellence every day of his career, and would have been quietly pleased with this award – he wasn’t someone who went over the top. He also had a high opinion of Bud Collins himself.”

Named for Collins, who was an accomplished tennis journalist and TV commentator, the Bud Collins Media Award is presented annually to a media outlet or member who has been integral in covering, promoting and supporting the tournament over a number of years. 

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Dickson’s peers in the tennis industry spoke highly of his ability to cater to different audiences with his stories, making him one of the most consistently important voices covering the sport. Russell Fuller, a tennis correspondent for the BBC, called Dickson ‘The Man,’ of British tennis journalism, championing his relationships both with the media and the players – and everything else he brought to the community. 

“He was always not just there at the forefront of the journalism that we did, but he was also the unofficial social secretary in many ways,” Fuller said of his relationship with Dickson. “He was the guy who had a good recommendation for a restaurant or on a walk through the town in the morning before play started… He was that sort of person, very inclusive.”

Simon Briggs, a tennis correspondent at the Daily Telegraph, wrote stories with or alongside Dickson on multiple occasions over the years as the two covered tennis together for their respective outlets. Briggs admired the way Dickson navigated the relationships he forged with all kinds of different individuals within the tennis industry. 

“He just had a massive instinct for the business – I’d say he was a very streetwise journalist,” Briggs said. “He was brilliant at finding angles that would satisfy middle market readership which isn’t easy… Mike had a common touch in his writing and he was able to speak to the floating boat of sports fans.”

Reflecting on his trips to Indian Wells, Mike’s wife Lucy reminisced about the particular admiration for the surrounding landscape of the BNP Paribas Open and its setting within the Coachella Valley. Although the time difference between California and the UK made it difficult to get pieces in the paper, Lucy said Mike always enjoyed his trips to the desert. He loved to go walking in the mountains, see the desert views, and, of course, watch great tennis. Lucy remembers his excitement during his last trip to Indian Wells for the rescheduled October 2021 tournament, when Britain’s No. 21-seeded Cameron Norrie brought home the men’s title. 

In awarding Mike Dickson with the 2024 Bud Collins Media Award, the BNP Paribas Open honors not only his remarkable career but also the man behind the byline: a devoted husband, father, and friend whose presence illuminated every room he entered. His passion for tennis was surpassed only by his love for life, his infectious laughter a constant reminder of the joy he found in every moment.

“As a young reporter fresh out of college, Mike could only have dreamed of the career he ended up having,” Lucy said. “The outpouring of admiration and affection since he died in January has been absolutely amazing. We are very proud of him and all that he achieved.”

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