SPORTS MGMT. STUDENT BEHIND THE SCENES AT BOWL GAME. Dustin Naiss, a sports management major at Lyndon State College, experienced the thrill of a collegiate bowl game first hand when he travelled to Yankee Stadium in the New York to work at the third annual Pinstripe Bowl. The invitation to LSC’s program was exclusive; no other sports management program in the country was invited to participate behind the scenes. The game pits the fourth-place team from the Big East Conference against the seventh-place team from the Big 12 Conference. The December 29 contest saw the Syracuse Orange defeat the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Naiss, a junior, gained valuable hands-on experience. LSC’s Professor of Sports Management, Dr. Ron Blizzard said, “College bowl games are among the more prestigious sporting events. A student with bowl game event management on their resume will be a standout. After the Super Bowl and the Olympics, college bowl games are the third most highly regarded sporting events.”
Blizzard, already planning next year’s curriculum, added, “I am hoping to bring the entire sports management program to the 2014 Super Bowl in New Jersey.”
Naiss primarily worked with the WVU football team and travelling party. “I interned with the event management and marketing group running the bowl game. Their goal is to make the Pinstripe Bowl an annual landmark event in the city. I was impressed with the amount of work they do,” Naiss said. “This experience provided me with knowledge about bowl game production, which could definitely help me down the line with future jobs.”
“Just to organize the transportation needs — to transport 70 players on each team to different events around the city in addition to four bus loads of family and friends to completely different events — is quite a challenge. The daily production schedule is impressive.” The outings included Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to visit patients, the 9/11 Memorial, and the CBS This Morning show.
“During the week of the game, I went to a few events with the coaches, their wives and families — that was fun. I also helped set up the Syracuse players’ hospitality room in the Grand Hyatt.”
“I learned how many moving parts go into a bowl game experience. It’s really a lot more than a game. All the pieces — from the hospitality room set up, to player check-ins; to all the events and the actual game — have a significant impact on the overall experience for everyone involved.”
“One of the coolest things was the first week when I worked at Yankee Stadium every day. I had a credential pass which allowed me access to anywhere in the stadium. It was awesome to get to work with Yankee’s staff inside the front offices and just experience the inner workings of the stadium. It’s a beautiful place.”
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