10th UT Martin student cohort to work Super Bowl LVII
Attending the Super Bowl is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many, and 21 UT Martin students will enjoy that experience Sunday when Associate Professor of Sports Business Dr. Dexter Davis takes a group of students to work America’s largest and most-watched sporting event hosted this year in Glendale, Arizona.
“It’s a great opportunity for our students and that’s what it’s about…making sure students at the University of Tennessee at Martin get an incredible experience wherever they decide to go with their careers,” said Davis.
Ahead of the main event, the group will spend time assisting with operations at TPC Scottsdale for the Waste Management Phoenix Open – the PGA Tour’s highest-attended event where most, if not all, of the tour’s top players compete.
The students’ responsibilities during the Super Bowl will include transporting current and retired players and Hall of Famers from one pre-game event to another. Leading up to the game on Sunday, the students will learn the most efficient routes to take in the stadium and gain tactful communication skills to be prepared to answer questions and requests from fans.
“Getting that experience with the NFL brand is special,” Davis said. “Understanding what it takes to put on a mega event like the Super Bowl makes it easier to put on a less-than-mega event like your local basketball game or youth sport tournament. Getting a feel for what makes this type of activity go is really important.”
Davis has been supervising collegiate trips to the Super Bowl for 18 years. His relationship with the NFL and Super Bowl began when a colleague who worked for the Miami Dolphins reached out with a volunteer opportunity for his students. Since coming to UT Martin in 2013, he has more than doubled the number of students he supervises on this trip.
“Those six kids did over and beyond what the NFL asked of them, made an incredible impression, and we’ve been back ever since,” Davis recalled about his first group of students he took to a Super Bowl.
When Davis began taking UT Martin students to the game, only sport business management majors were allowed to apply. He quickly realized students in other majors from the College of Business and Global Affairs could benefit from attending.
Two students are more than excited to check this item off their bucket list. Dawson Gremmels, a finance, economics and marketing major from Huntingdon, is grateful to have this opportunity and thankful to expand his knowledge of how the sports industry operates. “I joined this trip to get the ultimate sports management experience and explore my interest in the sports field,” Gremmels said.
Rina Focht, a mass media and strategic communication major from Wood Dale, Illinois, has had her sights set on this trip for a long time. “Attending the Super Bowl with UTM was mentioned at my Preview Day when I was a senior in high school, and it was one of the main reasons that I decided to attend UTM,” she said.
Focht grew up attending her older brothers’ sporting events and became increasingly interested in the behind-the-scenes aspect of professional sports. She hopes this trip will give her the opportunity to network and make connections that will one day help her career.
“After graduation, I would love to work in the world of sports media,” she said. “This trip is giving me the chance to experience my dream career while being surrounded by a university that has supported me the last four years.”
Other students attending this year are Rosalinda Alvarado, of Loretto; Karra Bailey, of Brentwood; Gracie Barber, of Kansas City, Missouri; Jacob Clark, of Halls; Jodi Cranford, of Newbern; Mikaela Curtis, of Waverly; Julie French, of Chattanooga; Lexie Garner, of Rutherford; Colten Glosser, of Packwood, Iowa; Madison Jones, of Dickson; Parker Kendall, of Hornbeak; Paden Leigh, of Franklin; Hannah Mitchell, of Karnak, Illinois; Dylan Mott, of Hendersonville; Madisyn Phillips, of Jackson; Macy Rippy, of Clarksville; Mallory Ruhl, of Eads; Bridget Vieau, of Syracuse, New York; and Amber Wright, of McKenzie.
(UTM University Relations)