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Students Touch Down in Las Vegas for Unforgettable Super Bowl Experience

Mar 20, 2024 By Queens University Communications

In February 2024, Karla Jones, Ed.D., program coordinator and assistant professor, accompanied 10 Queens University of Charlotte sport management students on a unique learning trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. The destination? Allegiant Stadium, the host of Super Bowl LVIII, where the students participated in the NFL’s Workforce program.

Queens University stood out as one of just two North Carolina universities chosen for this unique opportunity. Students gained practical experience through paid positions, working in exciting areas including the NFL Fan Experience and NFL Play:60.

“The trip to Super Bowl LVIII was an invaluable experiential learning opportunity for our students,” said Jones. “Not only did they gain hands-on experience, but they also had the chance to network with industry professionals and learn from leaders in sports marketing. It was incredibly rewarding to see their excitement and witness their potential firsthand.”

The students attended a motivational speech by Olympian LaShawn Merritt and networked with professionals at events hosted by Living Sport and Black Sports Business Professionals. They learned about marketing through a visit with MKTG, a sports marketing agency. They also saw legendary NFL players including Jerry Rice.

“Dr. Jones stands out as a leader in the Department of Health and Human Performance,” said Amy M. Knab, PhD, FACSM, Billy O’Wireman Professor of Exercise and Sport Science and chair of the department. “Her talent for building and nurturing relationships within the industry translates directly into benefits for her students. Through her example, she emphasizes the significance of networking and practical experience in the world of sport management.”

Greenville native Kayla McDuffie ’25, combined her interests by majoring in multimedia storytelling and minoring in sports communication. “There are so many opportunities in the sports industry that I was never exposed to before Queens,” said McDuffie. “Participating in the NFL Workforce program was an amazing opportunity and it opened up so many different career paths to explore after graduation.”

Jones envisions expanding the experience next year, including attending more networking events, working with additional sports agencies, and participating in both the NFL Fan Experience and game day operations.

“These types of experiences give our students a significant advantage as they enter the sports industry and we are committed to making the NFL’s Workforce program a signature event for Queens’ Sport Management program,” she said. “I look forward to what we will achieve next year at Super Bowl LIX in New Orleans!”