While thousands of fans are watching Super Bowl XLII from their stadium seats and millions are tuning in on television, 12 students from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will be observing and working with the organizers of one of the world's largest one-day sporting events.
The group, called "Team UT," is made up of graduate and undergraduate students from the College of Business Administration (CBA); the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences (CEHHS) and the College of Communication and Information (CCI).
Two students and two faculty members from the University of Memphis and one student from Lane College also will make the trip.
The Super Bowl is Feb. 3 in Glendale, Ariz., and this year's UT group will be there from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4.
This is the second year Team UT has gone to the Super Bowl, a trip arranged by Fritz G. Polite, director of the Institute for Leadership, Ethics and Diversity in Sport (I-LEAD) and assistant professor of sport management.
"This rare opportunity will help give students a better understanding of the business side of professional sports,”?Polite said. “It lets them see it, feel it and touch it. It makes all the class discussions, exams and quizzes come to life.”
CEHHS, CCI, the UT MBA program, Adidas Partners in Sports, UT Athletics, St. Mary's Health Systems and Bacon & Co. are helping sponsor Team UT's work.
"We believe this is a great opportunity for UT students to get hands-on experience at one of the premier sporting events in the world," said Mike Hamilton, men's athletic director. "Their participation will help elevate the already exemplary sports management program at UT."
The students have three assignments while at the Super Bowl. They will help coordinate and set up the taping of NFL Total Access, a daily news show broadcast by the NFL Network. They will work at NFL Experience, an interactive theme park with games, kids' clinics, free autograph sessions and a large football card show. The students also will help at NFL on Location, a corporate hospitality program.
Two students — sport management graduate students Zach Franz and Chanel Lattimer — are making their second trip to the Super Bowl with UT.
"The experience of bringing everything together and meeting the people behind the scenes who put on such a large event was unreal," said Franz, who hopes to eventually work in professional sports marketing.
The members of this year's Team UT are:
UT graduate students:
Kevin McMahon, Cedar Brook, N.J.
Fraser Boyd, Glasgow, Scotland
Neil Bishop, Fredericksburg, Va.
Zach Franz, Stephens City, Va.
Chanel Lattimer, Severn, Md.
Drew Davenport, Smyrna, Tenn.
Stephanie Dawkins, Corbett, Ore.
Chase Elis, High Point, N.C.
UT undergraduate students:
Justin Price Shaw, Memphis, Tenn.
Keri Vaughn, Franklin, Tenn.
Kyle Blackburn, Brentwood, Tenn.
Erin Hoskins, Nashville, Tenn.
University of Memphis:
Richard Southall (faculty)
Deborah Southall (faculty)