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Watson attended Marist Brothers Parramatta in Sydney's western suburbs, representing the school in cricket, rugby league, athletics and swimming. (See Parramatta Marist High School)
Between 1986 and 1992, Watson was employed by Coca-Cola, moving through the ranks of marketing and sales. From 1992 to 1998 Watson was with Pepsi Cola, working with athletes, creating sports sponsorship and he was also responsible for sports and event marketing.
He joined Kellogg’s in 1998 after working for 12 years within the 'Cola Wars'. He was responsible for re-engineering sports properties and helping Kellogg’s deliver their business plan for the first time in 19 years.
New Zealand Warriors
In November 2000, Watson was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand Warriors, shortly after chairman Eric Watson purchased the New Zealand licence to compete in the National Rugby League.
Watson was involved with the club when they made the finals series of the NRL for 3 consecutive years (2001, 2002 and 2003). Under his leadership the club secured its first title, winning the J.J. Giltinan Shield for the minor premiership in 2002. The same year the Warriors made its NRL Grand Final for the first time.
Watson resigned from the Warriors at the end of the 2005 season.
Warriors' majority shareholder Eric Watson said Watson had played a huge role in rebuilding the club. "When we had problems in 2004, Mick had to remove himself from Cullen Sports projects and come back into the rugby league business," he said. During Watson's time at the Warriors, the club reached the NRL finals for the first time in their history (2001), repeated the feat the next two seasons and, in 2002, also won the minor premiership and made the grand final for the first time but in the past two years he has fallen out with leading media outlets for periods.
In 2007 Watson and former Rugby League star Monty Betham formed WAAAM Boxing and created Dodge Fight Night. A professional Boxing event that was broadcast live on TVNZ in New Zealand and delayed to Australia and Samoa. WAAAM Boxing promoted Anthony Mundine, Steven Heremia, Tyrone Brunson, Peter Kariuki and Mohammed Azzaiouii.
During his tenure as CEO Cullen Sports, Watson wrote and created Prime (New Zealand)'s first NZ produced product – The Tem Show, starring Temuera Morrison. He also conceptualized and produced ‘Controversy Corner’, a weekly panel style radio program that aired weekly on Radio Sport. Watson was appointed ambassador for Auckland Cancer Society in 2001 and 2002. In his role he helped launch the inaugural Relay for Life fundraising event.
It has been slated that The Tem Show could be renewed for a second season nearly a decade on, however Temuera Morrison has dismissed this speculation to date.
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Views on Immigration
In an interview with the New Zealand Listener, Watson railed against Asian immigration into Australia. He said "as an Australian living here [New Zealand] and with the full intention of staying here, [I say] beware immigration. Just look towards Australia [and what has happened there since] opening the floodgates to South-east Asia. Look at the growing population … of crime, cultures that refuse to accept your culture.” Watson, according to the Listener, felt that Asian immigrants had 'ruined' Sydney, and would hate the same to happen to Auckland.
- Cleaver, Dylan (16 January 2010). "Watson to take charge of sport at college". New Zealand Herald (APN Holdings NZ Limited). Retrieved 12 March 2010.
- Jessup, Peter (25 August 2005). "League: More upheaval at Warriors as Watson goes". nzherald. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "League: Mick Watson regrets the high life". nz herald. 30 April 2005. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- "Watson resigns from Warriors". TVNZ - One News. Retrieved Published: 5:13PM Wednesday August 24, 2005.
- "Chris Rattue: In murk and muck it's always Mick". The New Zealand Herald. 1 March 2006. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
- "Monty camp eye bout on Holyfield card". Sunday News. 05/08/2007.
- "Tem Morrison to star on small screen". The New Zealand Herald. Dec 20, 2003.
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