Jackson Center grad to intern at the Super Bowl

LIMA – For the second year in a row, 10 University of Northwestern Ohio sport marketing and management students, along with two professors, will put their education to use at the Super Bowl, including Jackson Center High School graduate Abigail Meyer.

For the three days leading up to Super Bowl LIV, the students and professors will work events surrounding the game as interns in Miami, Florida. All 10 students will work as volunteers for the Super Bowl Experience, which is professional football’s interactive theme park offering interactive games and activities leading up to the big game on Feb. 2.

All of the students’ internships are run through the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee, the centralized planning entity for Super Bowl LIV. This organization acts as the liaison between the NFL, city of Miami and the local surrounding community and is responsible for helping to plan, organize and support activities and events that will enhance the Super Bowl experience for the city, the state and the Southeast region.

Super Bowl Experience is a ticketed event located at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The Experience includes youth football clinics, merchandise shops, autograph sessions with NFL players, 40-yard dash and vertical jump virtual game in which fans can compete against NFL players on an LED screen and get photos with the Vince Lombardi trophy.

With more than 1 million visitors expected, the student volunteers are encouraged to act as a Super Bowl ambassador and be able to answer questions, assist with taking fan photos, and overall, be a friendly and helpful face.

Students also are going to work with On Location Experiences to provide assistance with hospitality events outside the stadium on game day.

Professors Julia Etzkorn and Phil Gunder are hopeful that students will see all the work that goes into making the Super Bowl not just a game but an entire fan experience.

“I want them to see what goes into executing a huge event like this, to be able to experience it first-hand and gain experience on a large-scale setting like the Super Bowl,” Etzkorn said. “The best part is that they will be able to make connections here that could help them obtain jobs within the sports industry when they graduate.”

Along with Meyer, students attending the internship experience include Larissa Adams, of Independence; Andrew Boone, of Lima; Aubrey Brunst, of Harrison; Grace Jackson, of Louisville; Clayton Longo, of Clarksville, Tennessee; Dakota McClain, of Bellville; David Moreno, of Cali, Colombia; Marc Skelton, of Glasgow, Scotland; and Bri Smallwood, of Camden.

Students will leave on Jan. 29 and will return on Feb. 4.