A group of sports management students are heading to Atlanta this weekend for Super Bowl LIII.
Dr. Leigh Ann Bussell, a Trevecca sports management faculty member, is taking five students to volunteer at Super Bowl Live! events, a concert series and festival taking place in Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta. The event, presented by Verizon, highlights Atlanta’s vibrant culture and music scene.
The students participating are Brady Ray, Annelise Murphy, Jonathan Hyde, Shane O'Connell and Michael Thompson.
The group will head to Atlanta on Thursday, Jan. 31, where they will kick off the weekend by participating in NFL Campus Connection: Inside the Super Bowl, an symposium taking place at Georgia State University. The event involves members of the Super Bowl committee discussing what it takes to plan and pull off an event of this magnitude.
Bussell, who is no stranger to working Super Bowl events with students, understands the educational opportunities such a large scale event provides.
“We understand as professors the importance of being involved in a mega event,” she said. “If we have the ability to create that opportunity, I’m going to make sure we do that.”
Bussell previously took student volunteers to Super Bowl XLVI in 2007 while she was teaching at Ball State University in Indiana.
Over the course of Super Bowl weekend, Bussell says nearly 8,000 volunteers will serve at a variety of events surrounding the big game, from concerts to philanthropy projects.
“Part of the Super Bowl process is leaving a legacy,” Bussell said. “It’s more than just the game and the entertainment.”
The group will be working a total of three events during the weekend including Super Bowl Live! They also plan to help out at volunteer headquarters, where Bussell says they’ll learn firsthand what it takes to run an event as big as the Super Bowl.
That opportunity isn’t lost on the students who are making the trip.
“The fact that I will get to experience behind the scenes of one of the largest, if not the largest, events in the country is pivotal to my experience as a student,” said Brady Ray, a senior sports management major.
Annelise Murphy, also a senior sports management major, echoed Ray’s enthusiasm.
“My freshman year, I never thought I’d be going to do something like this, and I’m grateful to Dr. Bussell and the entire sports management program for creating this opportunity,” Murphy said.
Throughout their time at Trevecca, students in the sports management program have been preparing for an experience that takes the skills they've learned in the classroom and put them to work in the field.
“Students will have to communicate with people, build skills in human resources and management, event planning, as well as marketing,” Bussell said. “This experience really brings everything together that they’ve been learning in class and will allow them to come back to the classroom with questions.”