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Students from New London, Norwich attending Super Bowl while earning college credit, paycheck

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February 10, 2024 10:27 pm
• Last Updated: February 10, 2024 10:35 pm

A woman takes a photo of a sign for Super Bowl 58 at the Fremont Street Experience Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, in Las Vegas. The Kansas City Chiefs are scheduled to play the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL’s Super Bowl 58 football game Sunday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Five Connecticut students are getting to attend the Super Bowl this year while earning some college credit and even a paycheck.

The marketing and sports management majors, all students at Nichols College in Dudley, Mass., are gearing up for the big game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday. The college students attended as part of a sports management class called “The Super Bowl Practicum” allowing them to learn all about the sporting event.

The class, taught by Dr. Christopher Streeter, holds 10 classroom sessions and discusses economics, sponsorship, and advertising around the Super Bowl. In addition, students learn about the emergence of the halftime show and the game’s role in patriotism and national identity.

“This course and the trip is a great experience for our students to further their careers as sports professionals,” Streeter said. “Students get the opportunity to not only learn about one of the biggest entertainment event there is, but apply their knowledge in a real behind-the-scenes immersive experience that lets them know how the world of sports operates.”

The students, who landed in Las Vegas early last week, are required to complete a final reflection project including a 30-minute podcast, building a website, writing a paper, and creating a highlight video around their experience. Students must also manage the college’s sports management Instagram page with posts and stories throughout the trip.

“In the sports field, you never know who is going to be working for an organization you want to work for when it comes time to look for a job,” said the school’s communications director Dean Roussel. “So this is such a great opportunity for our students to connect and help get those jobs after graduation.”

The students from Connecticut include:

  • Sophomore Nick Allen from Berlin
  • Sophomore Nasir Bridgewater from New London
  • Junior Spencer Berlepsch from Norwich
  • Junior Alexandra Vozzo from Wallingford
  • Junior Callie Worthington from Stafford Springs

Nichols College has twice partnered with the NFL Super Bowl host committees to have students at the Super Bowl, first in 2020 in Miami and last year in Phoenix. While the students had to pay for their own airfare, the NFL actually gives them a paycheck to attend.

The students are considered NFL employees for the weekend.

“This is actually my second time since I went to Arizona for the class last year. Who can say they’ve worked two Super Bowls by the time they graduate college? I’m definitely using this credential to build my resume so I’m at the front of the pack in my job search,” Worthington said.

The students, 17 students in total, started Wednesday visiting the ESPN First Take set and getting a tour of the NHL Las Vegas Golden Knights practice facility. Throughout the week, students got a behind-the-scenes look at all the work that goes into making the game a success. On game day, the students will work with the NFL host committees directing fans and fielding questions. Students will be on the 100 level concourse.

“Working the Super Bowl is a great resume builder and a connection point. To work an event as big as this, you may not get that opportunity again, so I’m definitely making the most of it and not taking it for granted,” Bridgewater said.

The Kansas City Chiefs will square off against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday evening for Super Bowl LVIII. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on CBS.

“Seeing how the Super Bowl is operated throughout the week in Las Vegas is very impressive, the school’s provided a tremendous opportunity … it’s invaluable shaping my interest for a career in sports,” Allen said.

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