Sure, the game was entertaining, and the score was close. And the half time show drew a huge viewership. But for those of us at Nichols, what put the “Super” in this year’s Super Bowl was the participation of 16 of our students in the activities surrounding football’s biggest game.
The group travelled to Florida, along with Priscila Alfaro-Barrantes, assistant professor of sport management, and Luanne Westerling, associate dean for business, where they hit the ground running.
These volunteers joined peers from a select set of 25 other colleges and universities—among whom Nichols represented one of the largest contingents. Their tasks ranged from staffing the Super Bowl Experience—a set of “theme park” activities and events leading up to the big game—to working with the NFL on Super Bowl Sunday.
This group of students, mostly Sport Management majors, were members of The Super Bowl Operations Experience Practicum at Nichols. That class focused on providing a high profile, real life experience in the world of sports to students, helping set the stage for their futures in the field. From my perspective, it was a practicum on steroids.
Afterwards, I received an email from a mother of one participant that said, “This experience was not only a dream come true for my son but has helped him in his professional and personal growth. It was truly something that he will never forget.”
Seriously, who wouldn’t want to be part of the magic of the Super Bowl—even if the Patriots aren’t playing in it?
I would imagine there are many, many folks who have the Super Bowl on their bucket list. This group of students got to cross it off before their 21st birthdays!