Put Me in, Coach! Super Bowl Volunteers Begin Training

Vince Lombardi Trophy

By JayJizzle [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Surveying the crowd gathered in Mason Hall on the Baruch College campus last night, and you might suspect it was a casting call for Woody Allen’s next movie. The 1,000+ in attendance included students and seniors, well-dressed professionals and slightly smelly street folk; the eager and the edgy, the competent and the crazy. But it wasn’t a movie audition. The NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee advertised for volunteers willing to welcome fans arriving in a few weeks for Super Bowl XLVIII and thousands have stepped forward to join the team.

The Committee spent the past 3 years preparing for the weeklong celebration that kicks off on Sunday, January 26th, culminating in the big game on February 2nd. They plan to post approximately 14,000 volunteers, clad in bright yellow jackets, at area airports, transit hubs, and tourist locations, to provide directions and information to visitors. Applicants who passed a background check were invited to participate in an orientation session, designed to provide an overview of the week’s events and to outline what’s expected of the volunteers.

The Committee designed the mantra, “More SUPER with YOU”, to remind volunteers about proper etiquette: S for smile, U for understand, P for proactive engagement, E for energy and enthusiasm and R for respect. One of the evening’s facilitators asked the audience to picture themselves working their way through Penn Station at 5:30 on a Friday night. Then she asked them to imagine that it was their first time in New York. Visitors will be confused and have questions and may be angry or upset. As a Super Bowl volunteer, we have the opportunity to make their way a bit easier and maybe they’ll come to understand why we’re so in love with our wacky, wonderful city.

Uniform pickups begin this weekend. Each volunteer receives a jacket, fleece, mock turtleneck, 2 scarves, ear band, baseball cap and gloves. Serious swag. Prior to pickup you must have attended an orientation session and volunteered for at least 2 shifts. During the next couple of weeks, a mobile app will go live providing volunteers with plenty of valuable information to assist them in performing their duties. Maybe they’ll include the answer to the old joke, “Who’s buried in Grant’s tomb?” Since New York routinely hosts monstrous crowds (for example, every New Year’s Eve, over a million people crowd Times Square), this should be a routine walk in Central Park. Our Super Bowl will be unique in many ways: the first hosted by two states and two NFL franchises; the first held in a northeast city in an open air, cold weather venue. I think organizers are proud of these firsts, but I sense they’re committed to making sure it’s the best as well.

18 thoughts on “Put Me in, Coach! Super Bowl Volunteers Begin Training

  1. Pingback: Put Me in, Coach! Super Bowl Volunteers Begin Training | ugiridharaprasad

  2. How exciting! I never thought of volunteering like that. I may have to see if there’s an opportunity to volunteer when the Super Bowl comes to Levi Stadium in 2 years.

    • I’ll keep posting throughout the month; hopefully, the experience will be as great as I expect it to be! How’s the construction coming on Levi Stadium? My daughter graduated from Santa Clara, and I adore the city.

    • When you sign up, the first thing you’re told is there are no volunteer assignments (and no tickets 🙁 ) for the actual game. You get to choose from many post locations and shift times, so picking two that were convenient wasn’t difficult. I’ll be up on 59th near the park one day and down near Super Bowl Boulevard (which sounds like great fun!) another.

  3. I don’t know much about your football, but my daughter was recently in NYC and went to see the New York Giants play Dallas Cowboys. (I think they are the teams). She did the ‘tailgating’ thing – absolutely loved the whole event.

  4. Pingback: Dressing the Part: Super Bowl Volunteer Uniform | The Open Suitcase

  5. Great presentation! I was at Super Bowl XL in Detriot. The volunteers whore their winter uniforms and represented the city with class and respect. When I heard the Super Bowl would be in New York/New Jersey, I did not hesitate to become a volunteer. Volunteering for Super Bowl 48 is a unique honor for the NFL and for the state of New York and New Jersey.

  6. I volunteered at the airports. I use to own a limousine company but 911 knocked my company out of business. My staff and I knew how to greet passengers at the arrival terminals. We would also assist passengers who were not familiar on how to move around the metropolitan area. As a Super Bowl volunteer it is important to know the area of your post. Be fimilar with the neighborhood, the stores, restaurants, and the Super Bowl events advertised from the NFL and the APP from the Super Bowl Host Committee. Detroit is no stranger to cold climate weather. They had several cool outdoor events that kept visitors not to think about the cold weather. The biggest and most valuable souvenir from Super Bowl 48 will be the volunteer uniforms. I guarantee you people will ask how can they buy or get a Super Bowl volunteer jacket? They can’t, because it’s priceless. There is no amount of money that can buy a volunteer’s love and commitment to help visitors around the world to make them feel important and comfortable at a New York Super Bowl. So put on those yellow jackets on and have fun being the ambassadors of Super Bowl XLVIII.

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