Last Day Vibes

I was on my way to work at Super Bowl LIVE in Bayfront Park as storm clouds slowly filled the Miami skyline. Today was all about capturing content for the Miami Superbowl LIV accounts. We had a brilliant idea to go and create a time-lapse of the line of guests waiting for the Park to open. All the fans loved the idea which was great! This would be the last day of Super Bowl LIVE as well as both team’s pep rallies and a concert, so today was packed! 

With the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers rivalry already starting, it was interesting to see how the two different fan groups would interact. They both wanted to prove that they had better fan support. The 49ers had a drum line that would parade around the event, the Chiefs were not pleased with it and would break out into tomahawk chop to outdo the 49ers. 

This shift would conclude my time working in Miami, but I still had the rest of the evening. I decided to have a full fan experience. When I arrived at the Convention Center, I ran to the bathroom to throw on my 49ers gear and raced out to the Super Bowl Experience. This would be the first time I got to ‘play fan’ at Super Bowl Experience. I waited in the skills line to throw a football six times, as any typical fan would do. But being in Super Bowl Experience this time was strange, my uniform was off, no one ran up to me looking for directions, and I could take a photo anywhere. 

 

Dak’s Nachos vs. The World

Casa de Crunch is located at Super Bowl LIVE at Bayfront Park. This is a prime location for photo ops. Upon walking into Casa de Crunch, a sparkling Lays chip mural hangs from the wall, ideal for a big group picture. Set up like a “house,” the room to look like a living room has a cheetah print orange fur wall with a crown where people are clawing to get their opportunity to take their picture on the couch – without the orange residue as a takeaway.

Next, in the kitchen is a one-of-a-kind “throne” that instantly turns you into the next superstar football player. The photo ops aren’t the only thing that makes Casa de Crunch so appealing to fans.

Casa de Crunch is set up to host live broadcasts and celebrity appearances. Walking around to grab content for the Host Committees Instagram, a large crowd of people captured our attention. We saw Michael Irvin and Lindsay Rhodes. We barely caught the tail end of the broadcast before they announced special guest Dak Prescott.

Rhodes and Prescott’s interview was open to fans, some of which were more excited than others. Earlier this season, Prescott was turned into a meme based on a video of an active stretching routine he does during warmups. This video took the internet by storm. Rhodes brought up the “routine video” and intertwined his viral video with a video of Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira. Everyone burst into laughter, including Prescott himself.

There was more once the interview concluded. Prescott and a lucky fan had the chance to see who could make the best nachos. This fan had an interesting time because Prescott is her idol.

Do You Have What It Takes?

Today was all about brand new experiences. I worked in NFL Transportation today. Like my last time working there, I answered media questions about the shuttles and helped them find different locations around the Media Center.

During downtime, I went around in search of collectors’ pins. I started the day off with two pins and left the convention center with eight, that’s a win in my book. I was also able to take a stroll around Radio Row during downtime. Growing up as a sports fan, I grew up watching sports TV and listening to sports radio, so when I had a moment to get up from my desk, stretch my legs and walk through the famous Radio Row, it was magical for me to see some of the faces and voices I had been watching since childhood.

As we get closer and closer to the Super Bowl, the Media Center comes alive. It’s a very eye-opening experience to see celebrities walking around with no worries about obsessive crazy fans. Seeing celebrities, in this atmosphere helps me realize that everyone is human.

With an hour left in my shift at NFL Transportation, I was called on a new assignment, teammate. A teammate is a staff member who volunteers at the Super Bowl Experience. As a teammate, I was put in charge of the long toss game. It gave fans the chance to see if they have what it takes to be the next “Tom Brady”, to no one’s surprise, they don’t have what it takes. I enjoyed interacting with fans and seeing them with an ear-to-ear grin enjoying the Super Bowl Experience.

All New Things

I had an incredible opportunity to attend the Commissioners Press Conference. Before taking part in the press conference, we had to ensure that all the media knew where they were going before we could make our way up, to hear Roger Goodell address the media. Before the commotion started, we were pleasantly greeted by one of the managers from the Social Media Command Center. It was nice to see a familiar smiling face before starting the day. As soon as the first media bus dropped people off, I was given the responsibility to press the elevator button so they wouldn’t get confused by the high-tech iPad elevators. While waiting for the media to arrive, I started talking to one of the hotels, Senior Managers Jennifer. Throughout our conversation, she gave me some excellent insight into career paths and encouraged me not to be afraid of my future endeavors. As the media shuffled into the elevators, Jennifer ran into one of her classmates from college. She introduced me to him as well as explained his job doing public relations for the Carolina Panthers.

A few minutes before the press conference was scheduled to start, we made our way up to the action. This was the first press conference I have ever attended, and I was pleasantly surprised by how entertained I was. After the speech by  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell concluded, the media was allowed to ask questions. This part is what I found to be most interesting. The journalists had a number of direct, tough questions to ask and Goodell did a remarkable job answering the questions without giving the media much. The Commissioner taught me the importance of communication and public speaking skills. With another day coming to a close, I can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store.

Going With the Flow

The morning off allowed me to recharge and prepare for what would be an exciting day. I had the chance to work at Super Bowl LIVE. This event is hosted by the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee and is free to the public, which makes this event very unique. Super Bowl LIVE is at a prime location in Bayfront Park with tons of activities for the public and media. But before we got going, we had to switch it up and go to the Host Committee Media Party at the Port of Miami but not before we saw an almost 10-foot python. 

The Media Party event was decked out from head to toe. We were taken out to the deck of the event while being briefed and greeted with the best skyline views of Miami. The Media Party was sponsored by different cruise lines. Each one of the cruise lines was portioned up throughout the venue. Each one offered something unique from one another. I was in charge of two things while working at this event, making sure no one exited out of a specific door and greeting all the media members who attended the event. The highlight of my night was getting the exclusive Mickey Mouse ice cream bars and meeting some of the media I interacted with earlier this week at the NFL Transportation booth. I learned how important it is to do whatever is necessary for an event to run smoothly and to just go with the flow.  Another day marked in the books and new lessons learned. 

 

A Day of Learning 

I started my day in the NFL Transportation booth. The Transportation booth is dedicated to helping the media with questions regarding transportation to all events running during the week prior to the super bowl. The booth constantly got asked the same question, slightly different each time. The benefit of getting asked the same question is I developed a greater understanding and a more suitable answer. Today I learned two valuable lessons while working at the NFL Transportation booth, preparation is key and if it’s not broke don’t fix it. The transportation booth was stressful at times but overall it was a real-life learning experience.

After the Transportation booth, I was assigned to work in the Social Media Command Center. Changing roles was a breath of fresh air after a crazy morning or so I thought. Today multiple NFL team’s Twitter accounts got hacked. The NFL accounts being hacked caused the system we used to shut down. For a moment, no one really knew what to do, but shortly we were back at it. This experience taught me that back-up plans are vital to a successful project. Luckily for us, the Social Media Command Center had a backup plan and we were able to get back to all the tweets right in time for the Opening Night event.

The Life of a Fan

In the first part of day two, I got to spend it as a fan. It started by attending the Super Bowl Experience, an event for all NFL fans. The Experience gives fans an insider view of everything from the NFL combine to the championship rings. It sounds cheesy, but NFL fans everywhere should experience the Super Bowl Experience. While walking around, a K-9 unit officer approached the group of students looking for coffee. He then told us about how the police K-9s have their own Instagram accounts, so of course, I followed it. Meeting this officer would pay off in the short future.

After an exciting morning as a fan, I was off to work in the Social Media Command Center. Today I developed a better understanding of how the program worked and started digging into all things social media. Today was also the first day that I got to respond to a question via Instagram. The question was about the hours for the Super Bowl LIVE event. While a super easy question to answer, it was thrilling to check the feed afterward to see something I wrote published on a verified social media account. As my day was coming to a close, the whole Social Media Command Center got a surprise visit from the officer we met earlier in the day, and he brought a special guest with him, Beta. Beta was the officers K-9 who had traveled 30 hours from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to be security for the week of events. Having the dog visit brought energy to the room and was a perfect ending to my second day.

First Day 

By: Morgan Mitchell 

Being in Miami and working for the Super Bowl has been an absolute dream turned into a reality. Upon arriving for my first-day, adrenaline raced through my veins. I could only think about what an incredible opportunity I have been given. 

Walking through security and getting my credentials scanned for the first time was an experience I didn’t see myself having a year ago. My first day was spent in the Social Media Command Center, where I monitored tweets, answered questions, possibly changed my college major and talked about Thanksgiving dinner. 

By the time lunch rolled around, I had been sitting looking at Twitter all day and pondering about my past project that was focused on following a trend on social media during the Super Bowl. The parallel between the two was surprisingly different yet the same. 

Scrolling through Twitter in the Social Media Command Center, a few tweets stuck out to me. First was when I shockingly came across a tweet that was sent out of my small hometown of Herriman, Utah. The content in this tweet from Herriman wasn’t relevant to the materials I was searching for, but still, a connection was made. Next, I found a tweet about Zootopia and Shakira. This tweet instantly reminded me of my nephew, who has watched Zootopia too many times to count. 

At the end of the day, I felt more knowledgeable and accomplished. Leaving the Miami Beach Convention Center, I was even more excited than the day before for what is next to come this week while working for the Super Bowl. 

 

Conversation Starter to Avoid ‘That’ Question

 By: Morgan Mitchell  

My five-hour plane ride couldn’t have flown by faster. Before I knew it, I had landed in Salt Lake City International Airport. While waiting for the jetway and plane to connect, excitement swarmed me. Emotional to see my family, thrilled for the holidays, and excitement for the Super Bowl. Running through the terminals down to baggage claim, my family greeted me. The whole drive home, I didn’t stop talking about my opportunity to work at the Super Bowl. In the next couple of days, I would check airline prices, but when I finally booked my ticket to Miami, I came to the realization that I was going, and my excitement was validated. 

Seeing extended family is the best and worst part of holidays; for me, family parties are always entertaining, to say the least. While sitting and talking to a cousin that I haven’t spoken to since last year, the Super Bowl was my go-to conversation starter to avoid the dreadful question of, “Do you have a boyfriend?”. My excitement for the Super Bowl couldn’t compete with my mother’s enthusiasm that I would be working there. She would see me from across the room, and she’d blurt out the following statement “Morgan is going to the Super Bowl” that was my cue to leave the kids table to explain to my aunts and uncles all about what I would be doing at the event. Describing the event over and over again, didn’t extinguish my feelings; instead, it enhanced my excitement. 

 

Hair and Prepare

By: Morgan Mitchell

There’s something about sitting down in the salon chair, that makes you spill all the details about your life to your hairstylist. The questions start simple, talking about family, and the holidays, basically catching up. But as soon as the foils go on, buckle up, you don’t know what direction the conversation is headed. Lucky enough for me, the first question was, “Do you have anything exciting coming up?” Okay, perfect, I can answer this, “I’m going to be working at the Super Bowl this year” she followed up with “Oh my gosh, the Super Bowl is in Boston?” In my head all I could do was laugh. The remaining time I would be explaining exactly what I would be doing and how I’ve been preparing. After I paid, my next stop was to buy pants for the uniform, or at least I thought it was. I put my key in the ignition, but the car wouldn’t start. All I get is a fast ticking, like the game clock right before a delay of game. 

 I finally made it to the store to buy my pants. My uniform was the last box to check before going back to Boston. Coming into my house after the store, the TV blaring a football game, while my mom is cooking dinner. After dinner, my mom would grab her phone to play Candy Crush, while I explained my mental checklist for the 50th time. Plane ticket check, hotel check, uniform check. With a week left in winter break, I exhale a sigh of relief because all that is remaining is to pack my bags and get on a plane to Miami.