December 9, 2022
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Thornton Center and Haslam College of Business Partner Again for Big Orange Combine

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The Thornton Athletics Student Life Center and Haslam College of Business are teaming up again this year for the annual Big Orange Combine—an immersive experience that takes a group of 10 students to the site of Super Bowl LVII, State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
 
During Super Bowl Weekend, the cohort will network with various athletic-business entities to establish connections, learn about different fields, and grow the professional network of Volunteers across the United States bearing the torch in their profession.
 
“The Big Orange Combine was created in 2012 to allow students to work the biggest sporting event of the year and visit companies in the area of the hosting city,” Debbie Mackey, Professional Development Coordinator and Distinguished Lecturer for the Haslam College of Business, said. “This is an amazing opportunity to see every aspect of business come together. It is so exciting to be there and network and gain experience in business and sports. We are there to work and not to be fans, but it is also exciting to see VFLs there too.”
 
This year’s class, which is made up by five Tennessee student-athletes and five students from the Haslam College of Business, includes Dayne Davis (football), Lyndsey Huizenga (women’s swimming), Lawson Renie (soccer), Doneiko Slaughter (football) and Jaida Thomas (soccer).
 
These students would not be able to make this trip without your help. The Thornton Center and Haslam College of Business are seeking donations to help cover airfare, lodging, transportation, food and other travel-associated costs. Help these students live out an incredible opportunity by donating to the event’s VolStarter site.
 
“The Big Orange Combine afforded me and other student-athletes a once-in a lifetime opportunity to work one of the biggest sporting events and see the behind-the-scenes of what goes on to put on a huge production like the Super Bowl,” 2021 Big Orange Combine participant Giana Pellizzon said. “This professional networking experience allowed me to further explore my passions for working in sport and only confirmed my ambitions of working in sports after school. It was so rewarding to see how much of an impact sport has on people’s lives bringing so many people together for this huge event. Being able to network with media companies like CBS Sports and seeing the inner-workings of their productions was the coolest experience, as that is a realm of sports that I am very interested in. I highly encourage students to take advantage of this opportunity and travel to a different state with fellow UT students who are aspiring to develop their professional backgrounds.”
 
The group will experience first-hand the ins-and-outs of sport and event management. They will get hands-on experience assisting in all of the logistics behind the biggest sporting event in the United States and will witness all of the planning and coordination that goes into the iconic championship. Further, the Vols will attend the NFL Experience, where the connections are built with professionals in various sport businesses.
 
Of course, all of these things build up to the main event, Super Bowl Sunday, on February 12, 2023. One of the most coveted sporting events in the world and an experience of a lifetime. Last year’s contest saw over estimated 208 million-plus viewers worldwide, as the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20.
 
The Thornton Center and Haslam College of Business thank you in advance for your generosity and care to make an impact in the lives of the young professionals experiencing the trip. Your donation creates a chance for these Volunteers to pursue their passion and take the first step towards reaching the top of their field. This paired with their experience and knowledge from the classroom, nothing will stop them from becoming the most respected individuals in their field.
 



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