Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, March Madness 


Courtesy of Max Murphy

Max Murphy

This past weekend, me and three other BVU students (Kaden Howard, Max Olsan, and Drew Marksbury) got the opportunity to work for the NCAA at the yearly March Madness Tournament. This opportunity arose all the way back in October when we had a guest speaker (Andrew Woodley) from Duquesne University come into our Sports Marketing class. He discussed his daily task at Duquesne University and what his job entails. Later in this discussion, he mentioned how he might need volunteers at the tournament this coming March, and the rest is history.

After a few months of waiting, we were on a plane headed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Once we got there, we were tasked with the role of being runners and media help desk. These roles included running stats to the locker rooms, checking in with the home office of the NCAA, and helping answer any questions that arose. This allowed us to see the behind-the-scenes of a major event like March Madness. We got to see all the fires that are put out before and during all the games. We also learned how to effectively use our skills in a real-life scenario. We went through training, but all of that training went out the window once the event actually started. We had to act quickly and if a problem arose, we had to solve it ourselves or ask someone that knew the answer. These types of situations we were put into helped build us as future employees in just those quick four days we were there.

This also allowed us to communicate with some of the most successful people in sports including Reggie Miller, Kevin Harlan, and Jeff Goodman. Although at first these people may seem above us or intimidating to talk to, at the end of the day, they are people just like us. They were very friendly to us and were willing to help us with anything we had questions about.  These type interactions have helped build our network across the country and have granted us with well-needed experiences for our futures.

Here is what Junior Sports Management major, Kaden Howard, said when asked about his favorite part about the trip, “My favorite part of the trip was being able to see all the behind the senses that go into managing an event like March Madness. I also enjoyed meeting a lot of people that started in a similar position that I am in today that have created their own success.”

Professor Locante had this to say about the trip and what he thinks it meant to the four BVU students that went on the trip, “I believe the most beneficial parts of the trip were threefold, networking, value, and real-world experience. From my viewpoint, it did not come down to one specific moment or task but rather a culmination of the entire trip. An event of this magnitude provided significant networking opportunities. Those ranged from individuals in the industry for over thirty years with organizations like CBS Sports to others that discussed how they fund their way to cover teams continuing to do what they love. It provided great perspective and unique connections moving forward. Additionally, the value was found in the ability to add a marquee event to your resume with compliments received from everyone you interacted with. Along with that, those in the position you seek were in your shoes doing the same volunteering not that long ago. Lastly, the real-world experience that you were able to gain. It provided the ability to see all the situations that you never know or hear about as a fan. The small or large problems that occur during an event that someone must handle to ensure that everyone can complete their job, but as you learned, regardless of the issue, the ball still tips when it is supposed to.”

Overall, this trip was a once in a lifetime experience for us as students. We want to thank BVU and Duquesne University for allowing young sports enthusiasts make their dreams become realities.