Photo caption: Tron Stamper, manager of major events for Mercedes-Benz Stadium; Stephanie Durante, NFL senior director of game operations; Matt Shapiro, NFL vice president of event strategy and integration; and Beth Cianfrone, associate professor and sport administration program coordinator discuss the ins and outs of planning Super Bowl LIII in Georgia State University’s Speaker’s Auditorium.
story by Claire Miller ǀ photo by Meg Buscema
All eyes were on Atlanta this weekend as the city hosted Super Bowl LIII between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams.
In between attending meetings and making final preparations for the game, several representatives from the National Football League and Mercedes-Benz Stadium visited Georgia State University on Jan. 31 for “NFL Campus Connection: Inside the Super Bowl,” a series of panel discussions highlighting the ins and outs of planning one of the year’s biggest sporting events.
The NFL’s Football Operations department, which partnered with the College of Education & Human Development’s Department of Kinesiology and Health for the event, wanted to offer students a unique look at an industry they may want to work in after graduation, according to Robert Morrissey, vice president of football operations for the NFL.
“The NFL Campus Connection: Inside the Super Bowl event was an opportunity for NFL staffers to provide insights and share best practices in a manner that you can’t find in a textbook,” he said. “Our hope was to provide a unique experience that not only provided a new perspective on how the students view the Super Bowl, but also piqued their interest in pursuing a career in football.”
Panelists offered specific details on the Super Bowl’s planning process, how teams use game data and analytics to improve, and how event staff strive to make the game better each year.
It’s this kind of inside information that can help sport administration students see how the skills they’re learning in class translate into real-world contexts.
“To learn from so many NFL staff members at once – from those who make the major decisions about game competition and communication to analytics, broadcasting and sponsorships – is a priceless experience for students,” said Beth Cianfrone, associate professor and sport administration program coordinator. “These opportunities give them a competitive advantage in a crowded job market.”
By The Numbers
Number of cameras CBS used in its game day coverage of the Super Bowl
Year Atlanta won the bid for hosting the Super Bowl, even though Mercedes-Benz Stadium hadn’t been completed yet
Time on Sunday afternoon when CBS had sole access to cameras on the field, which lasted through the game and subsequent trophy ceremony
Number of quarter-sized RFID chips placed into each player’s shoulder pads to collect real-time data
The length of time Mercedes-Benz Stadium has been closed to other games and activities to prepare for Super Bowl LIII