The Thornton Athletics Student Life Center and Haslam School of Business collaborate again this year to host the annual Big Orange Combine—an immersive experience that takes 10 students to the Super State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona Venue for Bowl LVII.
During Super Bowl weekend, the team will network with various sports business entities, learn about different fields, and develop professional networks across the U.S. to pass the torch in their careers.
“The Big Orange Combine was established in 2012 to allow students to take part in the biggest sporting event of the year and visit companies in the host city area,” said Debbie Mackey, professional development coordinator and distinguished lecturer at Haslam School of Business. “It’s a great opportunity to see all aspects of business come together. It’s exciting to be there to network and gain experience in business and sports. We’re there to work and not be fans, but It’s also exciting to see that there’s the VFL there too.”
This year’s class is made up of five Tennessee student-athletes and five students from the Haslam School of Business, including Dayne Davis (soccer), Lyndsey Huizenga (women’s swimming), Lawson Renie (soccer), Doneiko Slaughter (soccer) and Jaida Thomas (football).
These students would not be able to complete this trip without your help. The Thornton Centre and Haslam Business School are seeking donations to help cover airfare, accommodation, transportation, food and other travel-related expenses. Help these students through this incredible opportunity by donating to the event’s VolStarter website.
“The Big Orange Combine is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me and other student-athletes to get involved in one of the biggest sporting events and learn how to make something like the Super Bowl,” said 2021 Big Orange Combine participant Giana Pellizzon. “This professional networking experience allowed me to further explore my passion for working in sports and confirmed my ambitions to work in sports after school. Seeing a sport make such a big difference in people’s lives makes so many I feel so fulfilled with people coming together. This is a great event. Being able to connect with media companies like CBS Sports and understand the inner workings of their productions is the coolest experience because that’s an area of sports that I’m very interested in. I strongly encourage students to take this opportunity to travel to a different state with fellow UT students who are eager to develop their professional backgrounds.”
The group will experience first-hand the ins and outs of sports and event management. They’ll get hands-on experience, assist with all the logistics behind America’s biggest sporting event, and will witness all the planning and coordination of the iconic tournament. Additionally, the Vols will participate in the NFL Experience, connecting with professionals from a variety of sports industries.
Of course, all of this builds up ahead of Super Bowl Sunday, the main event on February 12, 2023. This is one of the most coveted sporting events in the world and an experience of a lifetime. Last year’s game, which drew more than 208 million viewers worldwide, saw the Los Angeles Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20.
The Thornton Centre and Haslam Business School thank you in advance for your generosity and caring to make an impact in the lives of young professionals who have gone through this trip. Your donation creates an opportunity for these volunteers to pursue their passion and take the first steps towards the pinnacle of their field. Combined with their experience and knowledge in the classroom, nothing stops them from being the most respected in their field.