MARTIN, TN (KFVS) - For the fourth straight year, UT Martin was represented at the Super Bowl as students and faculty had the privilege of working behind the scenes at the event in Houston, Texas.
Nine students and two faculty members worked hospitality with the visiting players, helping them stay on schedule for autograph signings and other appearances, as well as working the New England Patriots' after-party celebration.
"This experience went above and beyond what I thought it was going to be," Jakeb Wylie, of Kenton, said. "I was able to work a couple of shifts at Volunteer Experience, and I had a blast being able to contribute to the excitement of all the fans. But the experience on game day, from escorting to working the Patriots' post-party was like no other experience I have ever had. I was also able to work with On Location Experience and the NFL to help make Super Bowl 51 a success, and being able to say that is pretty remarkable. I can only hope that other students who have the opportunity to go on this trip in the future take full advantage and enjoy the historic experience."
On Super Bowl Sunday the group worked a 15-hour day, ran into a few obstacles, but were successful in overcoming the challenges and making sure their visiting players got where they needed to go.
"The main thing I learned from this experience was that not everything is as it seems. Many different people are responsible for anything and everything that goes on during the biggest game of the year," Jake Rogers, of Dresden, said. "You have to work through adversity during a big event. I have learned many lessons from this experience, but the main thing is that I will always expect the unexpected."
Associate professor of sport business, Dr. Dexter Davis, has a longstanding relationship with the NFL and accompanies a group of UT Martin students to the game each year.
Students, mostly from the sport business program, undergo a rigorous application and interview process before being selected to participate.
Contact Dr. Davis at 731-881-7369 or email email@example.com for more information.