Internship Takes Sport Management Major Behind the Scenes of the NFL
Brittany Pair grew up in Longmont, Colo. passionately cheering on her Denver Broncos.
So when she learned of a competitive internship opportunity with the NFL’s Player Association (NFLPA), the self-described “big time football fan” and sport management major knew it was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up even if it meant leaving school mid-semester.
Pair admitted she wasn’t completely familiar with the association, which serves as the union for active and former NFL players. But she was certain her sport management experiences thus far would grab the attention of those hiring for the NFLPA internship.
During her four years at NWU, Pair has worked as an events manager for Nebraska Wesleyan’s Athletic Department, organizing soccer, basketball, volleyball and wrestling events. On Saturdays each fall, she drives to Memorial Stadium on home football game days to help the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s events department.
“As an athlete, I didn’t really know how all of that worked out,” the former high school volleyball player said of sports event logistics. “As an event manager, you get to see the background of everything.”
Last spring Pair recalled walking into her business ethics class for a midterm exam. That’s when she received an email from the NFLPA that she had been selected for their internship. And they needed her to start in March in their office located in Washington, D.C.
“It wouldn’t have been possible without Wesleyan,” she said. “I have some really great advisors and professors who were willing to let me go to D.C. halfway through my semester and let me finish my finals out. I couldn’t have asked for better professors or advisors. They have always been there encouraging me to peruse what I want to do.”
Among her most rewarding jobs she had with the association was planning a VIP party for Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. Pair helped pick the venue and caterers for the event.
“I had some sort of play into that,” she said. “That’s really cool to think about.”
She also assisted with the draft party for top overall NFL draft pick, Myles Garrett.
“It is really great to see how everything plans out and as a reward, you get to see their excitement and how happy they are at that event,” she recalled.
Pair credits her internship with NFLPA for expanding her passion for event management.
“The experience really gave me an overall perspective on what event management is,” she said. “It isn’t just operations and staffing for the event. It’s hospitality. You want to make sure they are having a great time.”
“And just being able to see how other people experience it, I think that’s most rewarding,” she added.
Following her graduation from NWU in May, Pair hopes to work in events management for a collegiate or professional sports team. She is also considering a return to Washington, D.C. where she would enroll in Georgetown University’s sports industry management program.
Story by Emmalie Harris, public relations intern.