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Networking and Learning How Covenant’s Sports Management Majors conquered the trip of a Lifetime
While most students on campus piled into watch parties in various rooms across campus, three sports management majors spent their time knee deep in the opportunity to work behind the scenes of Super Bowl LVII.
Senior Kacey Melton ’23 and juniors Makenna Dance ’24 and Solomon Crouch ’24 spent a week in Phoenix, AZ at stadiums and events getting hands-on experience in work they are passionate about. These students were able to meet with other teams and professionals in the area like the Arizona Coyotes and Fiesta Bowl staff. They also had the opportunity to tour Chase Field and Phoenix Raceway.
Leading up to the Super Bowl, these students were working games such as the 40 yard dash, field goal kicks, obstacle courses, and football tosses. Their Super Bowl Sunday kicked off at 3am with the task of guiding staff to their check in locations at varied points throughout the State-Farm stadium.
Prof. Michaela Kourmoulis, assistant professor of sports management at Covenant, has taken students to events such as the Daytona 500, College Football Playoffs National Championship, and the NCAA Men’s Final Four; however, she found that the Super Bowl was one of her favorites so far.
“It is one of the largest sporting events in the country, and they were really well organized. But, it was also great to connect and network with different professionals and resources,” said Kourmoulis.
Makenna Dance found the networking opportunities helpful and encouraging. Throughout the week, she was able to gain valuable knowledge and experience from those in the shoes she hopes to fill in the future.
“We were in the mindset of: ‘We are going to the SuperBowl and working events,’ but in reality it was so much bigger than that,” said Dance.
In addition to working and touring, the students were able to hear from Christians in sports management fields through a panel with the Uncommon Sports Group, a faith based organization that focuses on living out your faith in the sports industry. Dance felt impacted by this event in particular and found it encouraging in her academic pursuits.
Dance said, “Before, I was praying for clarity and peace over where I was in college, my major, and what I wanted to do [going forward]. I really enjoyed this experience, and it was something I wanted to be a part of—not just the Super Bowl, but the sports world.”
Kourmoulis commented about the encouragement that came with seeing her students out in the working environment and interacting with other professionals. She found that getting to watch her students apply what they’ve learned in the classroom as well as showcasing their love of Christ in their work environment in different ways was fun and fulfilling as a professor.
Kourmoulis has already made contact with the event coordinator for next year’s Super Bowl in the hopes of getting more involved, hands-on experience during the game. “Now that we have put in our time on the outside, hopefully we can move into the inside next year,” said Kourmoulis; but for now, students will catch a break until their next opportunity to apply both their academic and spiritual gifts to the sports management world.