After the departure of sports information director Joe Danahey at the end of 2016, SF State’s athletic department hired Brandon Davis as acting associate director of athletics for communications and fan development.
Davis, 32, is a graduate of Dominican University of California, where he worked for the last 10 years. He won two PacWest Conference Sports Information Director of the Year awards during his tenure at Dominican, in 2012 and 2015. He also helped the school’s transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II.
“I kind of worked my way up and then this opportunity came up,” Davis said. “A larger school, still a D-II (sic).”
Davis, who lives in Oakland, also liked the prospect of staying local.
“The timing was perfect,” said athletic director Charles Guthrie. “We were in need of assistance and he was available.“
Danahey, who now works as the assistant athletic director for sports information at Concordia University Portland, was the director of sports information at SF State for 13 years. While Davis is currently filling Danahey’s role, the position will not be permanently filled until the end of the spring semester.
“Our goal is to post the permanent position in March with an anticipated start date this summer,” Guthrie said. Guthrie did not rule out keeping Davis permanently.
“I’m getting kind of tossed into the fire right now,” Davis said. “My first home basketball game is the TV game, so (I’m) kind of hitting the ground running.”
“He did a real fine job,” said wrestling coach Lars Jensen, regarding Davis’ work during the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship on Feb. 4. “He helped us on several occasions here.”
One of Davis’ goals is to make the same progress with fan development at SF State that he did at Dominican.
“I want us to be more proactive,” he said. “I want us to reach out to our fans and I want them to have a conversation with us.”
Davis, who said he built Dominican’s social media presence “from the ground up,” said he wants to focus on building up SF State’s social media in the coming months.
“I think having 30,000 students and having exponentially more alumni gives us a good base,” Davis said.
Davis dealt with a student body that he estimated to be around 2,000 students, including graduate students at Dominican, but still sees parallels between his alma mater and SF State.
“Obviously winning is going to be a big component of that,” he said. “People like watching winning teams.”
Davis cited SF State’s men’s basketball team as being successful both on the court and in drawing fans to games with events like Purple Night and Spirit Night, but aims to keep the crowds coming back consistently.
“I think, more than just a free t-shirt,” he said. “An experience to get them to come when there isn’t a t-shirt, you know. How do we do that?”