Athletic Department to implement new rewards program for students


Students who join the revitalized Rabbit Rewards program will have a chance to win prizes worth more than $8,500 for attending South Dakota State athletic events.

The goal of the Rabbit Rewards program is to raise student attendance at all SDSU athletic events and bring more students to sporting events that typically have lower attendance.

 Justin Sell, director of athletics, said he is excited for the new rewards program and hopes increasing student attendance will create an intimidating atmosphere for opponents at SDSU athletic events.

 “We have always appreciated the support we receive from the student body,” Sell said. “As always, we are looking for creative ways to engage students and increase attendance because students make for a huge home-court advantage and provide energy to the environment.”

 Students will be given points for each athletic event they attend throughout the school year by checking into the game or event using the website or by downloading the Rabbit Rewards SDSU app. Students can check their overall points through the app and see where they rank among other SDSU students.

 Students will receive 10 points for signing up for the program and 10 points per athletic event they attend, according to Jonathan Treiber, director of athletic marketing. Students also have the opportunity to earn two bonus points for arriving at the event early and three bonus points for staying late. If you are a member of the Rabbit Den or join it you will receive an additional 25 points.

 As certain point totals are reached, students can unlock prizes and claim them using the app.   Some prizes will be given to the first students to earn a designated number of points while others will be raffled off in the late spring.


General prizes include:  

·         Koozies (first 2,000 students to earn 100 points)

·         SDSU travel Solo cups (first 750 students to earn 150 points)

·         Jackrabbits T-shirt (first 350 students to earn 200 points)


Raffle prizes include:

·         Three $150 Hobo Dough gift cards (125 points)

·         Two $250 Under Armour gear packs (175 points)

·         One $1,000 SDSU Bookstore gift card (225 points)

The top 100 students will receive a guaranteed bonus prize at the end of the school year. Bonus prizes include:

·         Xbox 1

·         PS4

·         Visa gift card

·         Jackrabbit mobile charger

The point system is based off of last year’s attendance numbers. The athletic department has set new attendance goals for football, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, soccer and wrestling.

Nicole Cirillo, head volleyball coach, said she thinks Rabbit Rewards will be beneficial to sports such as volleyball and soccer that typically have lower attendance numbers.

 “At the end of the day, we’re not football or basketball,” Cirillo said. “I think a lot of it is that those sports are better marketed and people are more aware of their games. I think this program will help make people more aware of when we’re playing, who we’re playing and provide our program with that additional support of getting the word out.”

Students have reacted positively to Rabbit Rewards. Sophomore transfer student Madison Aasen said the rewards program is a fun way to encourage students to attend events, especially those who are new to SDSU.

 “I think this app will be a good incentive for students to go to games, especially for new students like me who aren’t as familiar with Jackrabbit sports,” Aasen said. “It helps that you can see when all the games are on the app. I would probably attend football and basketball games anyway, but this program will help remind me about other sports as well.”

 Treiber said he hopes the program will get students excited about Jackrabbit athletics and is looking forward to seeing how Rabbit Rewards affects attendance.

 “If we can get students to attend three to four more games than they did last year, we can hit our attendance goals,” Treiber said. “We spent more on the program than we thought we’d spend as all of the prizes were budgeted for by the athletic department, but we’re very happy about it.”