Rice students selected for the Super Bowl’s “White Glove Program”

Rice students selected for the Super Bowl’s “White Glove Program”

Super Bowl LI brought excitement to Houston, but six Rice University Sport Management students got a first-hand look at the festivities by being a part of the prestigious "White Glove program". The students were thrown into the chaos by being liaisons to VIP’s and owners of the Patriots, Eagles, Giants, and Buccaneers.

White Glove Program

The Super Bowl Host Committee employed these students in selective internships for several months leading up to the event. The committee was responsible for coordinating between the city of Houston, Harris County, and the NFL. Internship positions included marketing, volunteer programs department, social media, events and operations, and community relations. After successfully finishing Super Bowl LI weekend, these students gave a complete view of what it was like to work for the White Glove Program.

“I worked most closely with Don Smolenski, the Team President of the Philadelphia Eagles,” Ben Schragger ’19 said. “I was in contact with him weeks leading up to the Super Bowl and directed him and executives around during event weekend. Obviously, the game was exciting, but it was a great opportunity to make connections as well. All in all, it was probably the best day of my life.”

Taylor Scott ’20 previously interned in operations, logistics, and community relations, but was given the task of escorting personnel from the Falcons and the Patriots for Super Bowl weekend. After initially being reassigned, Scott acclimated to her new charges quickly.

“My new role required me to be ready to come in contact with people that I never anticipated meeting at the Super Bowl,” Scott said. “I was called to help the New England Patriots by escorting John Legend and Chrissy Tiegen from the stadium to the postgame party after the game!”

As exciting as it seems, the students had to make themselves fully available throughout the 10 days leading up to the game. While some ran errands, and escorted their executives around the stadium, some like Schragger, had a few minutes off throughout the day to watch the Zac Brown Band, the headline act.

Each internship brought different tasks; however, some students faced challenges while working in the White Glove Program. Pax Kaplan-Sherman ’18 worked with the volunteer programs department previously before maneuvering a few challenges during Super Bowl weekend.

“The Giants’ owner was very self-sufficient for most of the lead-up period, and didn’t need to communicate with me as much as the other owners,” Kaplan-Sherman said. “Ultimately I was able to help him navigate and spend time with him on game day. I even spent the 4th quarter in the suite watching with them.”

Another student, Jeremy Reiskind ‘17, had the opportunity to work in the program. He was responsible for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Reiskind was in contact with the executive assistant to coordinate dinners, tickets, and logistics for the team and owners for that weekend. He had a successful weekend, but also had a few challenges which were handled with ease.

“The most difficult part was having to play middleman between the NFL and the Buccaneers,” Reiskind said. “I was asked many questions I did not know the answer to, and had to reach back out to the NFL to get answers.”

Each job has its demands, but these students seemed to have thrived. These Sport Management majors had an “experience of a lifetime.”

For more information read Rice students have a front-row seat to Super Bowl LI

White Glove Program 2

Mary Claire Danilevics, a junior from Scottsdale, Arizona, is majoring in Sport Management and minoring in Business.