WILMINGTON — Unlike the Bengals and 29 other NFL teams, 14 Wilmington College students are going to the Super Bowl.
These members of the Sport Management Club and their professor, Dr. Alan Ledford, flew to Houston Tuesday to spend the next six days working at America’s biggest sporting event. As volunteers, they are serving as ambassadors, greeters and customer service staff in assisting the thousands of guests attending a myriad of events and activities associated with “The NFL Experience” during Super Bowl week.
“Our students will experience Super Bowl week and game day from behind the scenes to learn the in and outs of the business of hosting a mega-event — they will gain a hands-on understanding of what it takes to plan, organize and execute a true sporting event behemoth,” said Ledford, WC’s sport management program director and club adviser.
“The students also will be interviewing, meeting and learning from top people in the sports business world,” Ledford added, noting this experience should have positive ramifications as they engage in interviewing for internships and career employment.
Brooke Shinkle, a junior from Xenia, described the opportunity as representative of “a great hands-on learning” experience at WC. “I always tell people that students actually get to do things starting your freshman year at WC.”
Indeed, sport management students have toured and met with officials at the Bengals’ Paul Brown Stadium; Great American Ballpark, home of the Cincinnati Reds; Fifth-Third Field, home of the minor league’s Dayton Dragons; Malpre Stadium, home of the Columbus Crew MLS soccer team; and athletics facilities throughout The Ohio State University.
“Alan is all about students getting experience in sport management, getting their hands dirty,” said Tyler Brummett, a junior from Manchester. “Employers want to know what you can do and what you’ve done,”
Brandon Williams, a junior from Dayton, called it a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity. “It’s a dream, a blessing to go on this trip.”