Before coming on this trip, Dr. Scott asked us all to be flexible. We weren’t exactly sure what our responsibilities would be or what we would be expected to do, but through it all we were asked to be flexible. And that is exactly what happened today.
For my afternoon shift, I was assigned to work at Super Bowl Live. Super Bowl Live is a big fan event with vendors, live music, celebrity appearances and more. At Super Bowl Live, we took photos for social media content. When we got to Super Bowl Live, we were told it would be a quiet day because almost all media would be at the Media Party.
About two hours into our shift Veronica got a call and left our media trailer. None of us thought much about it, until she came back in and frantically said, “pack your bags because we’re going to the Media Party.” Turns out, they needed more volunteers last minute to help welcome guests at the Media Party.
Let’s just say we did not look the part at the Media Party. I was in dirty khakis, my hair was up and I was covered in sunscreen and bug spray. But duty calls and we greeted some high profile guests for about three hours. Not in a million years did I think I would be able to attend a Media Party, but it’s funny that the first time I did I was in dirty khakis and a polo.
By Rebecca McMahon
I had the morning off today and the alone time was much needed. After having breakfast, I worked on homework by the pool for a couple hours before my shift. Coming from Boston where the sun is non-existent, I soak it up whenever I can. I ended up getting a lot of school work done. Who knew doing school work poolside was way better than in your dorm room?
After completing some assignments, Ronnie came down to join me. Thankfully, I brought a swimsuit and I felt very refreshed after a dip in the pool.
During my afternoon shift, I worked the MC NFL booth. We went into town to get dinner nearby and my day was made when I got a delicious protein bowl.
I learned that 14 hour days take a toll on your body after a little while and this morning off was something I really cherished. We also spend the days inside the Media Center, which is the coolest workplace I’ve ever been in. However, spending the morning outside was something that I realized calmed me and refueled my body.
Running For My Life
By: Bethelly Jean-Louis
I got in about six miles of steps today, it was a combination of walking and running. I can’t believe it! My first post for today was team manager for our first press conference. This was all new to me, I did not know what to expect at all. We walked into the Media Center with Dr. Scott bright-eyed, little did we know the physical activity and chaos that was awaiting us in two hours. Our task for that morning was to escort the speakers of the press conference to the green room. The speakers for this press conference included Miami Mayor Suarez, Miami Beach Mayor Gelber, Miami-Dade Mayor Gimenez, Miami Garden Mayor Gilbert, Rodney Barreto, Tom Garfinkel, Peter O’Reilly and Bill Talbert. Each staff member was assigned a speaker to accompany to the Green Room. However, plans changed when we learned that the speakers were already upstairs in the press conference room. Dr. Scott still wanted the team to be present for the press conference, so we ran from the first level of the convention center to the second level of the. In that moment, I felt like a coach. I gave every once of my energy to make it in time. Out of breath, we finally arrived. Just in time. I could finally breathe. Catching my breath, I watched the press conference from the side of the room.
Listening to the mayors speak during the conference was surreal. I couldn’t believe I was in a room filled with key figures of the Miami community and press.The mayors spoke so eloquently about the significance of the Super Bowl being held in Miami; they touched on themes of unity, culture and the power of community. The mayors beamed with such pride about their city-their home, it made me so happy to witness a moment like this.
By Rebecca McMahon
We kicked off this morning with the Kick-off Press Conference for Super Bowl LIV. The Vice President of the NFL, Pete O’Reilly, was joined by four mayors of Miami and President of the Miami Dolphins, Tom Garfinkle.
After the press conference, I worked for NFL Transportation for the rest of the day. The NFL did not schedule shuttles for the media to leave the convention center and go to the night events, meaning that the media’s only choice was to take an Uber or Lyft. To say the least, the media was not happy. We helped them get to the events through other routes and break the bad news. It was not easy.
The day ended in the social media center where I monitored and engaged with the Opening Night content from Marlins Park. This was great and I loved interacting and retweeting all of the photos and videos from the media and fans.
By: Thea Nagle
When I was a child, my mother nicknamed me T-Bone. I don’t remember where the name came from, or if it actually had an origin story worth telling. As I grew older, my family stopped using any nicknames… but today, I learned that Ronda and “Teacher Lisa” love using them.
Ronda was my lunch buddy for the day. Her real name is Ronnie, but she claims Ronda sounds like a better name. She spotted my name on my credentials, then commented on the mound of vegetables on my plate. After this stranger said my name correctly, we began to chat. Ronda told me that even a four-letter name needs a nickname, so I told her about T-Bone. Ronda seemed even more excited about the nickname than I felt seeing so many vegetables. For the rest of lunch, Ronda shared what it’s like to be security personnel at the University of Miami and her experiences volunteering for Super Bowl LIV. She was very upset to see her vegetarian T-Bone leave for her social media shift.
Teacher Lisa is one of our supervisors for the NFL Transportation booth. We bonded over statement socks and earrings. While she gave me the task of using a $30,000 copier that was far beyond my technological capabilities, she started looking up other people with my name. I managed to make copies of transportation directions during her explanation of a planet called Theia that crashed into Earth and exploded.
Between T-Bone and planet Theia, I must really be making a name for myself in PR so far.
My Monday was memorable from start to finish. I got to sleep in again so I was grateful for that. Before heading over to my shift at the Social Media Command Center, my group went to a local coffee shop to get some Cuban coffee. Cuban coffee is similar to sweetened espresso and I loved it. The cafe also had pastries but I did not get any.
I had a shift at the NFL Transportation Booth. This booth is really neat because it is located right outside of the media center, where all the media personnel work. We get to interact with high profile sports media people and occasionally a professional athlete will come by and ask where to go. Occasionally, we also have to direct the traffic flow of the media to get them to the right exit for their shuttles, to various events and conferences. Overall, this has been my favorite place to work by far because it gets exciting to occasionally have to give information to a high profile person that they do not want to hear.
By Libby Sweeney
Monday I was given the morning to sleep in, which was such a blessing after getting such little sleep after late nights the last few days, especially after flying into a time zone that ran three hours later. The small group of us going in for the afternoon stopped to get Cuban coffee so we could feel a bit more alive, even after sleeping in.
We did an exchange of two bodies at the convention center, and then six of us made our way to a new destination for work—Super Bowl Live. Super Bowl Live was an outdoor experience in a park along the beach, and was put on by the Host Committee. It included several dozen activations with sponsors, and was free and open to the public—meaning it was busy. Only one Host Committee member was able to even be around at the experience, but she was also being dragged in a million different other directions, so we were there to help her. Our two jobs were to greet and wait with media, answer any general questions they may have while working in the media trailer or walking around Super Bowl Live, and to create social media content for the Miami Super Bowl Twitter and Instagram.
It was a bit of a hike to get to, especially after going to the convention center first, since we had to backtrack. We parked in the bottom of Miami Tower and took the Metromover (that we call the “People Mover”) to the park, and then walked a few blocks to get to our security entrance. Waiting for the Metromover we met up with the woman from the Host Committee, who gave us a rundown as we walked to our destination.
Super Bowl Live was spread out, so most of our time was spent walking around to familiarize ourselves with the layout and area—anyone, especially the media, could ask us where something was or what exactly an activation was doing, and we needed to be prepared to answer those questions. We snapped pictures, wrote down social media handles, and spoke with some booths about their activations and what they were hoping to present to fans. Much of the day was learning and exploring what Super Bowl Live had to offer, and now I’m excited to go back on Thursday and work outside and engage with the media, fans, and the environment itself. Also, it’s right along the ocean, which is amazing.
By: Calvin Jacey
Today was my first 13-hour shift, so I knew it was going to be a tough day. I did homework until 1 a.m. last night and I had to wake up at 6 a.m to finish it. You could say I was not necessarily off to a good start to my day. The van left at 7:30 a.m., and we were off to the Media Center.
When we were on the van, I did not want to interact with anyone. I plugged my headphones in and tried to listen Mac Miller’s new album. I think I fell asleep a few times, and may have even slipped into REM sleep a few times. Once we arrived to the Media Center, I could barely keep my eyes open; however, my guy Ramon came in the clutch with my caffeine hookup. He gave me a double espresso latte for the price of a coffee, I could not have been happier. I was ready to attack the day.
My 13-hour day started at the Transportation booth located near Radio Row. Our job was to provide information about transportation to media-related events to all the media members. However, there was a bit of a problem. From my understanding, press members were frustrated because there were not enough buses. As a result, we heard a lot of their of their complaints. Although it was overwhelming, I remembered to be patient and sympathetic. I could understand their frustration Sometimes in life, you have to be the middleman.
I walked into work thinking, “it’s just a normal day in the world of sports.” The teams start to arrive, which is exciting. The media center officially opened today, and journalists and other media members started to pour in. “It is going to be a good day,” I thought.
Then, while sitting at the NFL Transportation Booth, my manager told me devastating news. Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash at 41 years old. What? This doesn’t make sense. Kobe is such an influential figure in sports, and to think that he is gone is unfathomable.
But, as it can be in any professional work environment, we had to go on with our day. While it was tough, we move forward with our work. The coolest part of today is that we got to interact with the media and help to answer their questions and problem solve for them.
I love to talk to people, so when media came up to ask questions, many of them would also chat with us if they weren’t super busy because they noticed our Emerson lanyards. I believe around four members of the media noticed that we are from Emerson, and one even went to Emerson! She said she graduated around 20 years ago and she played on both the soccer and softball teams.
Today showed me just how wide Emerson’s name can spread. Whether it be in Boston area jobs or all the way down in Miami for the Super Bowl, Emerson’s name carries weight. This also means that the way we act carries weight. My goal for the rest of the week is to be as friendly and talkative with members of the media as I can be. Whether that is a simple “hi, how are you?” or it is an in-depth conversation, I want my interactions to mean something. I am not only representing myself, but I am representing my school and my future.
While this day started out rough for me, and many others when hearing about Kobe’s passing, it ended with many lessons that I can hold with me for the rest of the week and for the rest of my life.
Rest in peace, Kobe.
By Abigail Noyes
Today’s schedule brought me to Bayfront Park, the location of Super Bowl Live. This free-to-the-public installation features interactives, photo ops, food trucks and a gorgeous waterfront view. Here, the Miami Host Committee celebrates the city’s history of hosting the Super Bowl, integrating local cultural staples.
At Super Bowl Live, Emerson students will amplify social media by taking photos and videos and writing content. We will also gain valuable experience by escorting members of the press and giving them tours of the area. To be as informed as possible, we spent time familiarizing ourselves with the activations and their sponsors.
While learning about Super Bowl LIV’s sustainable initiatives, a volunteer named Jorge approached us. He immediately told us he was from Minnesota and that he was in search of a baseball cap. “All of the volunteers got either a baseball cap or a bucket hat. You can see I got a bucket hat. I would also like a baseball hat.”
We apologized, noting that this was not under our jurisdiction. Yet Jorge persisted and approached me three other times, clearly frustrated that I did not have an answer.
This is not a rare occurrence for the week. Journalists and visitors have asked me countless questions that I could not answer. I am learning some important skills in the face of this: allow my hospitality skills to kick in, apologize for the inconvenience and find someone who knows the answer. Though sometimes the response is underwhelming, as a rule of thumb, it’s a safe start.