Super Bowl LIII

To say Concordia University students played a role in Super Bowl LIII last weekend in Atlanta would be an understatement.

While the game between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams was low-scoring, 23 Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor students were scoring big off the field.

The large team of students, along with three faculty and staff members, traveled to Atlanta, Georgia two weeks ago to help with preparations for the top annual event sports: The Super Bowl.

(from left) CUW Sport and Hospitality Business students Connor Ault, Samantha Dunn, Jose Alicea, Tanner Lark and Abigail Kissamis attended ESPN’s weekday morning talk show First Take.

“We had more students working over two weeks at Super Bowl LIII than any other college or university program in the country,” CUAA’s Executive Director of Career Engagement and Industry Relations, Dr. Joey-Lynn Bialkowski. “This is a direct testament to our business program’s reputation in the industry and the events where we have had Concordia student representation in the past.”

Concordia has given students immersive industry experiences at dozens of major sporting events in the past, but this time Concordia students were given more responsibility than ever before. They managed large teams of volunteers known on the ground as ‘teammates’, assisted with live events and activations, and even were held responsible for the Vince Lombardi Trophy within one of the fan experience zones.

Best of all, their two-week stint in Atlanta was a paid internship.

Industry partners to CUW’s sport and hospitality business programs include On Location Experiences (OLE), formerly known as NFL On Location now including PrimeSport and Kreate Inc. The OLE partners connect Concordia University’s business students to immersive industry experiences, like this one, that will prepare them for future careers in the sport, hospitality, and entertainment professions.

For Super Bowl LIII specifically, half of the students were placed to work Super Bowl Live at Centennial Olympic Park, a series of fan events that takes place over 10 days prior to and during the Super Bowl including the NFL House, free concerts, food, and national television broadcasts. The other half of Concordia’s group was placed at the official fan experience, Super Bowl Experience (SBX), inside the Georgia World Congress Center. SBX included exclusive tailgates within the stadium or VIP hospitality areas.

Tanner Lark (’21) takes in the scene at Centennial Olympic Park, the location for Super Bowl Live.

Students were also assigned to plenty of off-site, private events throughout the week including the Dr. J (Julius Erving) Bowling Classic, The Jim Brown Legends Dinner, Ray Lewis’ Gold Jack party for a Purpose and the Los Angeles Rams post-game party, a private event hosted by the owners.

The success of the sport and hospitality department within CUW’s Batterman School of Business is attributed to advisory board guidance and strategy, dedicated faculty on both Concordia University’s Wisconsin and Ann Arbor’s campuses, and strong relationships with industry professionals, like OLE.

The Batterman School of Business emboldens a global network of transformational and collaborative Christian leaders, dedicated faculty, entrepreneurial students, and active alumni who come together to create maximum social impact through ethical practice, innovation and service. Learn more about the Batterman School of Business here.

— Rachel (Ferry) Thoms is a member of the strategic communications department at Concordia University. She may be reached at or 734-476-7736.

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