In Their Words—GWSB Graduate Students Share What It Was Like to Work the Super Bowl

Under the direction of Lisa Delpy Neirotti, students worked behind the scenes at various fan festivals leading up to the big game.

February 21, 2023

Students at Super Bowl

George Washington University master's of sports management students during Super Bowl week. (Submitted photo)

Eight George Washington University graduate students enrolled in the M.S. in Sports Management program, headed by director Lisa Delpy Neirotti, traveled to the Phoenix area during Super Bowl week to gain meaningful experience in the field by working events associated with the National Football League’s championship contest, which the Kansas City Chiefs won over the Philadelphia Eagles on Feb. 12 in nearby Glendale, Arizona.

While there, the eight students used Neirotti’s connections to work venue preparation, sponsor activation and talent management, among other things, for events put on by Hall of Fame Health, Rolling Stone and GQ magazines during the fan experience sessions in the week leading up to the game. They also utilized the plethora of networking events. Five students shared their takeaways from their Super Bowl experience with GW Today:

Jiarui Chen

"I may only experience the Super Bowl once in my lifetime, which made me cherish it even more. The Super Bowl Experience served as an appetizer of the Super Bowl, where the service concept of “fan first” was fully reflected. The different interactive booths set up brought fans different dimensions of experience, such as simulating football training and games and displaying history of the NFL. At the same time, the sponsoring brands also took this opportunity to make their best efforts to do brand marketing. As the official game ball sponsor, Wilson set up a booth to fully demonstrate how a game ball is made from a piece of leather. Fans could even experience the production process and touch those freshly made balls; and Panini tried to build brand image in-depth by personalizing digital trading cards for each visitor. On the game day, many staff with different functions actually prepared on site more than 12 hours prior to the kick-off to ensure that the 70,000 spectators would be given the most ultimate experience."

Brian Garand 

"I learned that the Super Bowl is much more than just the game and the fan fest around the stadium, and I gained a unique perspective on the work that goes into putting on high-end events."

Bailey Hodges

"Attending the 2023 Super Bowl LVII was truly an experience like no other. It was amazing to not only see, but to also be an integral part of the team that actually assists with putting the event together behind the scenes. The culture surrounding the Super Bowl made you feel as if this event could not be put on without your help regardless of how big or small your role was. Upon arrival, there was a clear fan-first mentality that radiated with every Super Bowl event, activation and promotion we assisted with in order to support every fan’s individual experience. The environment and people of Arizona were welcoming and kind, and I watched it bring even the toughest of NFL rivals together as one."

Haile Ingram

"I had the incredible opportunity to attend Super Bowl LVII. I would like to thank the George Washington University School of Business Master's in Sport Management program led by Dr. Lisa Delpy Neirotti. From the overall Super Bowl experience to the amazing networking event with Uncommon Sports Group, I just want to thank God for putting me in these spaces at the right time."

Nirav Muthiyan 

"I consider myself lucky enough to have the chance to work my first Super Bowl in Phoenix. I did not only work Super Bowl Sunday, but also the Super Bowl Experience that took place from Feb. 8 to Feb. 11. I always kept hearing that the Super Bowl was a different atmosphere and that it is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  And finally getting the chance to work the Super Bowl was like a dream come true because the Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event in the United States. I was part of the fan experience during the Super Bowl experience held at the Phoenix Convention Center. As part of this role, I had to interact with fans, which was a really exciting task for me, as it gave me the opportunity to interact with different schools of people. What made me enjoy this overall experience is seeing a smile on the face of the fans and seeing them having fun with their families and partners. Another takeaway from working the Super Bowl was the atmosphere. It was really lively, and I just felt a lot of positivity around me, which doubled my enjoyment of working."