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2022-Big-Orange-Combine

As millions of Americans watch the Los Angeles Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday, 10 students from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will be in SoFi Stadium learning the business behind the largest sporting event in the US.

During the five-day trip, the student team (known as the Big Orange Combine) will work the Super Bowl Experience presented by Lowe’s as well as the Super Bowl LVI pregame and during the game.

“Seeing the behind-the-scenes of an event as big as the Super Bowl makes me really interested in the sports industry,” said Stephanie Mathers, a senior from Hendersonville, Tennessee. “It’s amazing to be able to get a sneak peak into what makes these events successful and how it takes teamwork from all functions such as marketing, staffing, supply chain, and more to really make events go smoothly.”

Debbie Mackey, Distinguished Lecturer in the Haslam College of Business and faculty advisor for UT’s chapter of the Society of Human Resource Management, will lead the team. This will be her seventh Super Bowl facilitating volunteer opportunities for students. Elontae Bateman, graduate assistant for student-athlete development at UT’s Thornton Athletics Student Life Center, will be serving as along side Mackey.

“It’s still so exciting for me to get to go and watch theses students see such a big event and be exposed to business, marketing, and sports coming together,” said Mackey.

Students involved in this year’s Big Orange Combine are:

  • Kendra Duncan, of Harrogate, Tennessee, a master’s student in human resource management
  • Cade Hannah, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, a senior in supply chain management
  • Cheyenne Labruzza, of Albany, Louisiana, a graduate student in sport management (after graduating last spring with a degree in supply chain management) and a member of the football team
  • Brittany Lyons, of Knoxville, a senior in human resource management
  • Stephanie Mathers, of Hendersonville, Tennessee, a senior in human resource management
  • Sarah McCabe, of Southlake, Texas, a senior in supply chain management and a member of the track and field team
  • Matt McMillan, of Nashville, a junior in marketing and finance and a member of the track and field team
  • Giana Pellizzon, of San Clemente, California, a senior in journalism and electronic media and a member of the volleyball team
  • Nichole Shanahan, of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, a master’s student in human resource management and a member of the volleyball team
  • Abigail Smith, of Butler, Tennessee, a senior in human resources management

For McCabe, the Big Orange Combine offers an opportunity to combine two of her passions.

“Sports are an important part of my life as an athlete, fan, and now as a student studying supply chain. One of my future career goals is to one day work alongside an organization or corporation affiliated with sports.”

While in Inglewood, California, students will also have an opportunity to watch CBS film and network with employees.

CONTACT:

Lindsey Owen (865-974-6375, lowen8@utk.edu)