Behind the Cheers (Series)

Apr 16, 2023 – We are covering several Deltasigs' career successes and the diverse roles they play in connecting athletes to fans!

Since the days of the ancient Greek Olympics and Roman gladiators, people have been innately drawn to sports. We stand at rapt attention as we admire physical feats of speed, strength or endurance. The Super Bowl is annually the most-watched program on American TV, and it’s been reported that as many as five billion of the world’s eight billion inhabitants tuned in to watch last year’s World Cup. Yep, we love athletes.

However, in today’s highly competitive, hyperconnected world, legions of support are required to train and support sportspersons. Whether it entails poring over analytics that help players enhance their performance, cultivating sponsorships that provide financial support to collegiate athletic departments, or managing the digital assets that support disseminating sports-related content, numerous roles must be filled to support the business of sports. 

Here’s a look at one of several Deltasigs to helps connect fans to our favorite sports.

Caroline Gagen, North Carolina-Greensboro 
Marketing Manager for Sam Houston State University

Working in sports has been a longtime ambition for Caroline. In high school, she worked for her local minor league baseball team. While in college, she interned for UNCG’s athletic department.

"I’m competitive by nature, and sports is a great outlet for that,” Caroline said.

After graduating, she took a job at Wake Forest as a fan experience and sales coordinator. She now works as a marketing manager for Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, where she oversees the school’s brand identity and marketing for 17 varsity sports.

“I wear a lot of hats, and it keeps you on your toes,” Caroline said. “I’m in charge of all aspects of game-day production, from making sure sponsorship promotions are in place to making sure the announcers and game day staff are prepared for various activities and promotions.

Football drives most of the athletic department’s enthusiasm and revenue. Being a campus in Texas amplifies this, as football is as akin to religion in the Lone Star State. For the team’s first game, the Bearkats (the school’s mascot) travelled to Texas A&M’s Kyle Field, a gridiron palace that seats more than 102,000 spectators.

“It was an incredible experience,” Caroline said. “I’ve been in large stadiums before, but Kyle Field made it hit home just how big football is in Texas.”

This fall will be pivotal for the school’s sports team, as it makes the leap to the Football Bowl Subdivision, the highest classification of college football. Huntsville is a comparatively small city with about 50,000 residents, and the school has developed a close-knit relationship with its surrounding community. As the school’s national perception grows with its move up to FBS, Caroline and the school’s sales partner, Van Wagner, look forward to the challenge of balancing sponsorships among national advertisers reflective of the school’s higher profile and maintaining the loyalty and energy among the electricians, restaurants, furniture stores and other local businesses that have been the school’s backbone of support.

Caroline recognizes the valuable role Delta Sigma Pi played in her professional development. Caroline served as her chapter’s vice president-professional activities, where she strived to find ways to combine meetings with prospective employers and informational sessions such as interviewing practice and resume workshops. “I enjoyed that we all had the same mindset of being interested in business, but that every brother had their own individual passion and drive of how they wanted to use their knowledge and skills. And, Delta Sigma Pi provided a place where I got more comfortable trying new things and stepping outside my comfort zone.”

Check back for more spotlights in this series!

  • Deltasig Spotlight