Sport and recreation administration graduate student Kyle Fluker will receive a National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators Mike Cleary Stipend. One of 30 recipients, he will use the award to travel to attend June’s NACMA Convention in Las Vegas.
The Flint, Michigan, native will network with intercollegiate athletics professionals from across the country, including those who work in marketing, tickets, development, and administration. Fluker is set to graduate in May and wants to continue working in college athletics.
“I’ve always been a big fan [of college athletics],” Fluker said. “I like the college experience … college fans are way more passionate.”
Fluker is completing a graduate assistantship in marketing with the SDSU athletic department. He creates graphics, manages interns and helps create an in-game atmosphere for Jackrabbits fans.
“I add fun pieces that engage our fans and get them excited to go to the games. Our fans are a different breed. They will try to make a relationship with you,” Fluker said.
Since starting in August 2018, Fluker has worked countless events, including when ESPN’s College GameDay broadcast visited Brookings and his first Jackrabbits wrestling dual.
“The energy at a wrestling dual is like no other,” Fluker said. “The fans make this sport what it is.”
In class, Fluker said assistant professor Bryan Romsa has taught several facets of the business side of sports.
“He opened my eyes to new ways of thinking, like the ethical side of sports, and what other teams and other people are doing to get people to games,” he said.
The sport and recreation administration graduate curriculum is focused on sport management, marketing, communications, facilities, finance, ethics and legal issues and research.
Marketing interests Fluker the most. He would like to work at a larger Division I university that has tennis, golf, basketball and wrestling. While Fluker is looking to leave the Midwest, he has enjoyed his time and his hands-on experience at South Dakota State University.
“Brookings has that community feel, I’ve never seen a university and a town being so hand-in-hand … There’s something special about this place.”