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LaGrange College students get valuable experience in Miami at Super Bowl 54

The Panthers are taking on the Super Bowl.

Several members of the sports management program at LaGrange College are getting hands on experience working in Florida at this year’s Super Bowl.

For the third-year, Dr. Preston James IV, assistant professor of sports management and business law, took a group of students to participate in the biggest sporting event of the year.

“We’ve worked the Super Bowl Experience, Super Bowl 54 Opening Night and we are going to work the Super Bowl Live,” James said. “Students have been working in various capacities.”

Students are replicating what they learned working sports events on campus, now at a higher level.

“We worked opening night and I think we were the only college [working it],” James said. “That is the only time the two teams are together, except for the game. They worked in various capacities with the media outlets from all over the world. They got the teams in and out.”

The undergrad students are also making connections with a multitude of people they come across, including possible job prospects.

“They are making major contacts,” James said. “They are getting smart now and asking everyone they meet for a business card. Some of our students, when they go to apply for a job have already worked at least three Super Bowls. All this experience is going to get them great jobs. The whole thing is giving them a chance.”

On game day, the LaGrange College students will spread out among the site. James said that even though they are a small college, bigger schools that are also participating are taking notice of them.

“Our students are equal to them or better than them,” James said. “I love watching our students in that aspect.”

LaGrange College senior Taylor Long said that this experience is once in a lifetime.

“It has been an absolutely amazing opportunity,” Long said. “Dr. James is definitely the best professor there. We have been able to do a lot more than I ever expected. We’re getting to do a lot of things, and I’m learning a lot down here.”

In LaGrange’s sports management program, students learn to apply business principles to the sports industry, with an emphasis on team development and administration and financial management, as well as leadership and ethics in sports.