Tag Archives: Dr. Tina Kiesler

The Next Season: Re-Branding CSUN As A Sports Culture Campus

When it comes to college sports, most people are more familiar with USC and UCLA than Cal State Northridge. UCLA athletes make it on to the cover of national magazines like Sports Illustrated, and USC is famous for its tailgating parties and its NCAA sanctions.

CSUN sports have never gotten that kind of national or even local media coverage, but now, under the leadership of new director Dr. Brandon Martin and with the support of new President Dianne Harrison, the University Athletic Department is pushing to create a successful sports culture on campus, and create a new brand for the university.

“I do think that athletics is a wonderful avenue to get awareness and interest in the university,” CSUN Marketing Professor Tina Kiesler said.

It’s not only important to make that brand known on campus, but also to spread it beyond the university’s borders, Kiesler said. “I think the student athletes are trying to get out across campus and make their presence known, but we also have the athletics department as a crack marketing team that Dr. Martin has, in part, brought in.”

Martin, a former USC basketball star who has years of experience in intercollegiate sports administration, has been the athletics director at CSUN for less than a year.

“I think we have one of the best marketing teams,” Martin said. “They really work long hours, they are in tune with my vision, but most importantly, they are in tune with our student athletes.”

Martin said he has taken a new approach to bringing awareness to the athletic program among students and faculty, using social media, events, and activities before and during games.

This month, the athletic department entered a multi-year partnership with Sport Chalet. The sporting goods retailer will team up with the university, supplying merchandise and offering deals.

But not all resources come so easily. In a public university, where money can be tight, it can be difficult to decide where to allocate limited funds.

Martin doesn’t think it has to be an issue.

“We don’t have to choose between academics and athletics,” he said. “We can optimize and maximize both.”

And students committed to that balance are exactly what the university is looking for.

“That’s the type of student-athlete that I’m trying to recruit,” said Women’s Volleyball Head Coach Jeff Stork. “I want kids who want to excel, and who want to come to CSUN.”

But in the end, marketing and sports culture are just one part of a successful athletics program.

“You gotta win,” Stork said. “That tends to bring more people out.”


Producers: Mahina Haina and Colin Newton

Moderator: Adam Schumes

Anchor: Mahina Haina

Digital Editors: Judith Retana and Jamie Gonzaga

Reporter: Nelssie Carillo



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