football stadium

BGSU Sport Management Alliance students make connections at Super Bowl LIV

Working big-time events gives SMA students inside edge with internship opportunities

By Andrew Addessi

The Super Bowl has been the most watched televised event in the world for years.

For something this big, a lot of help is needed, and the Sport Management Alliance (SMA) at Bowling Green State University doesn’t hesitate to help out. In helping with the events leading up to Super Bowl LIV in Miami and at the game itself, students get the chance to make many new and unique connections.

“It is kind of a tradition for the Alliance. They’ve gone to the Super Bowl for over five years and there’s a good relationship with the Super Bowl Committee,” said Dr. Lucy Lee, as assistant professor in sport management and finance. “They had a really good time, working at such a big-name event, and it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them.”

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The SMA offers unique opportunities for students in sport management. They invite guest speakers from the industry, hold events such as the Women’s Leadership in Sports Forum, and of course, send students to help at big-time sporting events such as the Final Four and Super Bowl.

As with anything, there is a lot of work involved.

From working double shifts at the Super Bowl Experience, guiding fans to various events like autograph sessions, 40-yard dashes, pictures with trophies, and the Youth Football Clinic for kids, it was just the beginning.

“On Super Bowl Sunday, we woke up at 4:30 in the morning, and we actually worked for 17 hours,” said Lindsay Klemm, a sports administration graduate student. “It was a long day.”

The big game day had the BGSU students helping at the most expensive party of the game: the Party on the Fifty. A premium package with food and beverages, it had live entertainment from Darius Rucker, picture opportunities with Hall of Fame legends and seats on the 50-yard line. The SMA made sure everyone found their seats and even helped certain fans to the field for the trophy presentation after the game.

“Personally, it was great to be part of the Super Bowl atmosphere,” said Megan Kahl, a BGSU senior majoring in sport management major. “The ability to represent BGSU and our program at the biggest sporting event is something I don’t take lightly. It is an invaluable opportunity.”

The experience and opportunities provided by these trips are possibly the biggest benefit to students. Interviewers are always looking for prior knowledge and dealings in a field, and working a huge event such as Super Bowl LIV definitely catches their attention.

“When I was interviewing for an internship, that was the first question: ‘What did you do at the Super Bowl?’ It was a great talking point, to share experiences in college and that you were active,” Klemm said. “It’s a great opportunity, whether you’re a graduate or undergraduate.”

With plans of sending more students in April to the Final Four in Atlanta as the next opportunity, the SMA will continue getting students the tools they need for their careers.

“It’s all about creating and maintaining connections,” Kahl said. “I love sports, but it is what I can do for others that makes trips like this worth it. I’ll remember this experience for life.”