Brandon Cunningham named Arkansas State Deputy AD for Development & Revenue Generation

Brandon Cunningham joins Arkansas State athletics after stops at West Virginia, North Carolina...
Brandon Cunningham joins Arkansas State athletics after stops at West Virginia, North Carolina State, and Louisville.(Source: WVU Athletics)
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 12:55 PM CDT
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Arkansas State Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Jeff Purinton announced Wednesday that Brandon Cunningham, a veteran collegiate athletics administrator with over 15 years of experience at the FBS level, has been named Deputy Athletics Director for Development and Revenue Generation.

Cunningham’s path to A-State included stops in the development offices at West Virginia (2017-22), North Carolina State (2008-17) and Louisville (2007-08), flourishing in multiple roles while establishing a strong background in fundraising and external relations.

“Brandon has not only achieved great success leading highly-effective development teams, but also as a well-rounded administrator who will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience with him to A-State,” said Purinton.  “He is a former student-athlete and well-respected within the intercollegiate athletics community on a national level.  A proven leader and strong communicator, Brandon will be an outstanding addition to our team at Arkansas State.  We are excited to welcome him, his wife Jenny and sons Max and Jake to our Red Wolves family.”

Cunningham joins the Red Wolves’ senior administrative leadership team after most recently spending the last five years at West Virginia as an associate athletics director and the deputy director of the Mountaineer Athletic Club.

During his time in Morgantown, Cunningham was responsible for oversight of all major gifts, including all capital projects, endowment and planned giving programs for the WVU Department of Athletics.  He played a key role in helping manage the budget and soliciting donations to meet the Mountaineer Athletic Club’s annual fundraising goal each fiscal year.

Cunningham oversaw a $100-million Climbing Higher campaign that launched in August 2018, and he and his team brought in a little over $50 million in capital gifts since joining the West Virginia staff in 2017.  Additionally, he supervised the implementation and launch of the Almost Heaven Society geared toward unrestricted capital gifts for WVU Athletics.

“I would like to thank Jeff Purinton and everyone involved in the search process for this incredible opportunity to serve the student-athletes, coaches and staff at Arkansas State University,” said Cunningham.  “This is a special place with a tremendous amount of support from donors and fans, and I’m thrilled to get to work with our team and take things to the next level.  My family is excited to be part of the Red Wolves family, and we can’t wait to get to Jonesboro to become entrenched in the community and culture.  Wolves up!”

Prior to WVU, Cunningham spent nine years with the North Carolina State Athletics Department and its Wolfpack Club in various roles.  He served as the associate director for the Wolfpack Club his last four years in Raleigh, soliciting and cultivating a profile of 120 donors and prospects for contributions toward the club’s campaign goal of $210 million.

Operating in the same position, Cunningham also helped coordinate the fundraising efforts to go toward the endowment, Close-King Indoor Practice Facility, and Reynolds Coliseum Renovation/Walk of Fame and History project as part of the “Think and Do the Extraordinary” campaign for NC State University totaling $1.6 billion.

Cunningham was elevated within the NC State Athletics Department in 2013 after previously serving as assistant director for the Wolfpack Club from August 2009 through December 2012.  During that time, he grew and maintained 250 accounts for The Wolfpacker donor publication, increasing annual scholarship donations by at least $700,000 per year.

Responsible for increasing advertising revenue 71 percent throughout the four-year period, Cunningham also planned and coordinated fundraising initiatives for the annual scholarship fund in three districts within North Carolina and 12 additional states.

The Louisville, Ky., native began at NC State as a development associate in 2008.  Among his many duties were the organization of the Athletic Director’s Dinner, maintaining renewals and aiding recruitment for the Student Wolfpack Club and Junior Wolfpack Club, as well as assisting with ticket and parking assignments for the men’s basketball and football seasons.

Before moving to Raleigh, Cunningham served as a graduate assistant with Louisville’s Cardinal Athletic Fund from April 2007 through July 2008.  There, he was involved with the expansion of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and the transition into the KFC Yum! Center, implementing a re-seating plan and selling club-level seats and suites for both facilities.

A native of Louisville, Ky., Cunningham received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Transylvania University, where he was a student-athlete with the Pioneers’ baseball team, in 2006.  He went on to earn his master’s degree in sports administration from the University of Louisville in 2008.  Cunningham and his wife, Jenny, have two sons – Max and Jake.

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