The Sport Business Association (SBA) at Shenandoah University traveled to Miami, Florida, in January to work in its second consecutive Super Bowl. The nine students who attended Super Bowl LIV volunteered with the Miami Host Committee and NFL On Location Experiences. Students gained experience in event operations and fan engagement while working at Super Bowl LIVE and NFL Experience, which provided family-fun entertainment including autograph sessions, youth football clinics and more.
Leading the group were Fritz Polite, assistant vice president for opportunity development, Ph.D., and Dan Kaseman, executive in residence at Shenandoah University.
The Experience: What Students Learned
Working with NFL On Location and the Miami Host Committee during the week was both mentally and physically demanding. As a leader, it was rewarding to see our students operate at an extremely high level. We were able to see firsthand the requirements of producing events on the largest stage. Each student will walk away from this trip with practical experience and will be better prepared to become the next generation of leaders in the sport management industry. I am eternally grateful to Dr. Fritz Polite for the countless opportunities that he has provided me and all of our students.
Jared Lowry, ’19, MBA ’20
It was an amazing experience. I learned that networking with others is a very important skill to have in the business industry. My favorite part of the trip was volunteering at the Touchdown Club where I was stationed at the photo booth to take pictures of fans. The best parts of this job were seeing fans smile and making their day a special one. It felt good to hear someone say I made their Super Bowl experience a great one.
Taylor White ’20
I had a blast working with the younger kids and making sure they had a smile on their face. I learned how important efficiency was, not only in event operations, but just in general, and I also learned how much of a grind it is to be successful in the sports industry. The trip will definitely be something that will help me, moving forward in my career as a college student and in my future endeavors.
Joseph Cooper II ’22
Leading up to the Super Bowl, our group was in charge of directing guests and working multiple stations. At the Super Bowl, my group worked at the football toss and exotic animal booth, and helped direct guests at the Touchdown Club pregame party, which had approximately 5,000 guests. Some things that I will take with me from this trip is that you have to work with what is given to you, you have to use critical thinking effectively and efficiently, and you need a good attitude no matter the circumstances.
Kaitlyn Carter ’22
Perhaps the most important thing I learned was the ability to network and develop relationships, but further, being able to use it in my career. This was a very special group. We worked extremely hard to build the Shenandoah brand, and I feel that we were able to accomplish such a task during that week.
Andrew Kappel ’21
In the course of a week, we gained experience in event management, guest services and teamwork. I am proud of my experiences and the groups I have had the pleasure of being a part of. This year in Miami is no different as we continued to impress and grow as young professionals, an organization and as a community.
Tyler Pavlock ’20
It is increasingly my experience when dealing with Shenandoah University students on experiential learning trips that they execute every task with quality, perseverance and efficiency. What is equally rewarding is they do it with cooperation, teamwork and esprit de corps. It is easy for me to say, ‘Proud to be a Hornet’!
Recent Experiential Trips
Shenandoah students attend the College Football Playoffs National Championship
- Wayfinders in the stadium
- Served as support staff in the press box
NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis, Missouri
- Worked the NHL Fan Fair events at Union Station in downtown St. Louis
- Responsibilities included ticket check-in at the entrance to Fan Fair, serving as instructors with various hockey games in the NHL Kids Zone and assisting with the setup for NHL mascot events
E-Sports World Championships in Busan, South Korea
- Served as team hosts and stadium support staff
College Football Playoffs National Championship
- Worked with the playoffs operations team as marching band hosts, coordinating movements and accommodations for performances throughout the week and during pregame and halftime.
FINA World Swimming Championships in South Korea
- Escorted athletes to the drug testing center directly after their competition
- Students met with industry executives and alumni with the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Ravens organizations to discuss career paths and professional development.
Winter Olympic Games in South Korea
- Worked access control
Upcoming Experiential Trips
A group of students will travel to Atlanta, Georgia, for the university’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Final Four
- Students will work event operations and stadium support with the Atlanta Host Committee
Harlem Globetrotters game at Shenandoah University
Army-Navy Game in Philadelphia