Three students get unrivaled opportunity at Super Bowl

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — While most college students are watching Super Bowl 50 on TV on Feb. 7, three Penn State College of Communications undergraduates will be working in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, some 2,500-plus miles from State College.

Brianna Cameron will be a member of the NFL’s public relations staff — the sixth-consecutive year a Penn State student has held such a position — while Maddie Brightman and Andy Madore have press box credentials and will be covering the event as part of a working opportunity provided by the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism.

Cameron, a broadcast journalism major from Parlin, New Jersey, has an on-campus internship with Penn State football’s social media manager and found out about the NFL position from fellow student intern Katie Karsh, who traveled to last year’s Super Bowl in the same role. Cameron then connected with Mike Signora, the NFL’s vice president of football communications and a 1996 Penn State journalism alumnus.

Cameron, a New York Giants fan who arrived on site in California late last week, will help manage Radio Row, which will consist of more than 100 media organizations during Super Bowl week. Hoping for a job in sports marketing someday, Cameron looks to make the most of the experience.

“I just hope that it gives me that foot in the door that I need for my career,” said Cameron. “Just the experience itself, I think that’s an honor and a lifetime experience that not everyone gets to have. I’m excited.”

Brightman and Madore have the unique opportunity to cover the game as college students through the Curley Center, which recently sent students to cover Penn State baseball’s historic trip to Cuba. Each year, College of Communications students also attend the NFL Draft with ComRadio, the college’s in-house student-run radio station.

Brightman and Madore, both natives of the Baltimore area, are general mangers of ComRadio, the Internet-based station housed in the College of Communications. They hope to produce content for the ComMedia site, which is a collection of work produced by Penn State communications students.

In addition, the duo is taking a camera and said there is a possibility of doing segments for “Centre County Report,” the award-winning student-run newscast that airs online, on Campus Cable and to 29 counties in Pennsylvania on WPSU. Brightman and Madore have already discussed story ideas and will provide updates via social media.

“It’s going to be exciting, I think,” said Madore. “First of all, it’s the Super Bowl, which is always nuts. Then on top of that, it’s Super Bowl 50.

"We work with Penn State football here locally. It’s obviously big here. People from all over Pennsylvania come to cover that. Now, we’re going somewhere where people all across the country are coming to cover it.”

In addition to the opportunity to cover one of the largest sporting events in the world, these three students also get the opportunity to network.

“If you interact with someone, I think they are going to remember you from that,” said Brightman. “You’re at Super Bowl 50 and they see a student, I think if you make that connection with them and then connect back with them at some other point for an internship or a job, I think it will definitely stick in their heads.”

Cameron left for California on Jan. 29, while Brightman and Madore are set to leave Feb. 4. They will all return on Feb. 8.

In addition to the three students and Signora, several College of Communications alumni will be on site for the Super Bowl, including Denver Broncos receiver Jordan Norwood, who earned his advertising/public relations degree in 2008.

Penn State alumni in the Super Bowl media contingent include: Amanda Gifford, a program director for ESPN Radio; Kim Jones, a reporter for NFL Network; Emily Kaplan, who writes for Sports Illustrated and The MMQB; Michael Robinson, a former Nittany Lions quarterback who works for NFL Network; and several alumni who work for NFL Films.

The Curley Center, named for the first editor of USA Today, explores issues and trends in sports journalism through instruction, outreach, programming and research. Founded in 2003, the Curley Center compliments its core courses with an emphasis on internships and hands-on experience with broadcast, multimedia and print outlets, as well as with league, sport and team publicity and sports information operations. 

Last Updated February 04, 2016