The Super Bowl, in many ways, is the pinnacle of professional sports in the United States. The game alone cost upwards of 45 million dollars and has been reported as America’s “second-largest food consumption day” (Thanksgiving being the first).
So with an event that is so deeply rooted in our culture and society, an opportunity to work behind the scenes and make the day possible is one any sports fanatic would jump on, without a doubt.
This is exactly what Josh Miller and Cody Martin of Wilmington College did.
Through their sports management club, both members were able to secure their spot working in Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII, seeing the New England Patriots defeating the Los Angeles Rams on February 3.
For four days leading up to the game, Miller and Martin had the chance to work the NFL Fan Experience. The NFL Fan Experience hosts activities for all ages, but Miller and Martin both primarily worked in the Kids’ Zone.
While each day held something new for the sophomores, they both knew this was exactly where they wanted to be.
“I’ve always loved sports, I used to play all sorts of sports,” said Martin. “When I hurt my knees in high school, I had to stop playing, but I wanted to stay around sports; I loved the event planning process, the whole thing fascinates me.”
One aspect of the experience that both men found crucial to their understanding of the sports industry was the large amount of people involved with making a one-day, eight-hour event run smoothly. Miller says that he now has a better grasp of crowd management and communication skills, all stemming from interacting with so many different people.
On game day, Miller and Martin were tasked with escorting guests from pre-game parties to the stadium.
“My favorite part was definitely game day, just seeing everyone, regardless of their team, they were just all experiencing everything together, you could see everyone taking in all that was going on,” said Martin. “There were a lot of events going on before the game that we got to see…the entire scope of game day was really cool.”
Because of this highly-sought-after opportunity, both men learned invaluable lessons that they will now be able to take forward with them. Miller now has a summer internship lined up with the Dayton Dragons (Single-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds) in marketing, something he is sure he would not have landed without his experience at the Super Bowl. The networking both men experienced was also a large selling point of the trip, something that Martin says will only help them in their future careers.
While Martin was the only Lambda Chi member who attended the Super Bowl last year, this year saw two more members in Atlanta. Martin says that all three men had a positive experience, and this is something the brothers hope to continue.
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