Shayla Arroyo and Superbowl LVIII

What do Brock Purdy and event management senior Shayla Arroyo have in common? Both are Cyclones who attended Super Bowl LVIII.

While Arroyo (‘24 event management) didn’t play as the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, she did participate in the Living Sport Las Vegas program, an immersive and hands-on learning experience for students looking to work in the sports industry. Throughout this 10-day trip, Arroyo learned from industry professionals, attended various sports business workshops and panels, networked with the 49 other students in the program and attended Super Bowl opening night. Most notably, Arroyo worked at the Super Bowl Experience Fan Fast and Super Bowl LVIII, contracted through Populous.

During the game itself, Arroyo was selected as a captain, meaning she managed a section in the stadium, supervised all employees in that area, managed traffic flow and ensured fans found their seats while also answering questions. Arroyo also worked at the Super Bowl Fan Experience, which had a record attendance of 30,000 people. The fan experience offered multiple engaging stations, pop-up shops, replicas of each team’s locker rooms and more. Attendees could also take photos with Super Bowl rings and the Vince Lombardi trophy with the chance to receive players’ autographs.

“The energy was insane, especially for Super Bowl Sunday,” said Arroyo. “It was a surreal moment. It didn’t really hit me until they started singing the National Anthem, I was like ‘Wow, I’m really here.”’

Arroyo’s favorite part of this program was the lifelong friends she made with whom she still keeps in touch. With 50 participants being selected, there were many networking opportunities between the students themselves.

“We all have such a passion for watching and working in sports,” Arroyo shared. “I know that if I ever needed anything, I could reach out to any of the connections I made in this program.”

Originally from Illinois, Arroyo decided to attend Iowa State because of the event management program. She is grateful for the event management background she has acquired through her courses and event operations internship with Iowa State Athletics, which helped her know her way around a stadium and learn the ins and outs of game-day operations. The support and knowledge of event management professor, Jamie Beyer, also motivated Arroyo to get involved with Living Sport.

“I felt like I was prepared especially with resume building and leadership skills through my classes,” she said. “I was also glad I had the background of the amount of planning that goes into these large venue events. Events of this caliber are not planned overnight and finally seeing it all come together was a very valuable experience.”

In the future, Arroyo is excited to continue working in the sports industry, with the dream of working as an event manager for a professional or large college football venue. Throughout her time at Iowa State, Arroyo has also participated in Trend Magazine and The Fashion Show.

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