Ben Sale will remember Feb. 2, 2020, for the rest of the life. That was the day the George Mason University senior and sport management major got to live out his dream. Not only was Sale able to attend Super Bowl LIV, he got paid for it.
“It was surreal,” said Sale. “I would hear the roar of the crowd. I would see the confetti, and I would realize, wow. I’m really here.”
For more than a week, Sale, 25, worked as an intern for the National Football League as they held the Super Bowl Experience in the Miami Beach Convention Center and then prepared the Hard Rock Stadium for the battle between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers.
Sale said his work entailed such things as helping with media registration and credentialing, and facilitating media interaction with players. But, Sale added, he still got a chance to watch the game.
“It was loud, very loud,” said Sale. “Watching it on TV does not do it justice.”
Sale grew up near Richmond, Virginia, and went to Reynolds Community College. He transferred to Mason three years ago. He didn’t play sports growing up, but he calls himself a fan. Sale decided to pursue sport management because it seemed interesting and a little different.
“I’ve always enjoyed sports and thought the sport management program would provide me with the assets needed to succeed after college,” said Sale. “Professors in the sport management program are very hands-on and really care about the students. I’ve made lifelong connections, built a strong resume and have many possibilities open to me for after graduation.”
Sale said he especially loved that he got a chance to study with Mason professor Charley J. Casserly, the former general manager for the Washington Redskins. In addition, Sale spent last semester interning with the public relations staff for the Redskins.
“Ben is an outstanding student,” said Casserly. “He has an excellent work ethic and is a self-starter.”
During the time Sale interned with the Redskins, both head coach Jay Gruden and president Bruce Allen were fired.
“It was a pretty wild time,” said Sale. “We were definitely busy. I took away from that experience how to work in a very high-paced working environment.”
During his time at Mason, Sale has also worked for Mason’s sports Information office and was an officer in the Sport Management Society.
Sale said Mason’s proximity to Washington, D.C., gave him great options for high-profile and interesting internships. He also likes being able to network for D.C.-based jobs now, before he graduates in May.
“Ben has taken full advantage of his time at George Mason,” said Craig R. Esherick, associate director of Mason’s Center for Sport Management. “He has had some amazing experiences in the sports industry. What is even more impressive, with all of this activity in the industry, he has continued to maintain a very high GPA in his sport management concentration and his sport communication minor.”
Sale said he’s started looking for summer internships and entry-level positions in the public relations and communications field.
“I’m keeping my options open,” said Sale. “Working in sports is terrific, and I would love to work for a sports charity or a team’s charitable division. I’ve always had an interest in doing nonprofit or interest group work, and the skills I’ve acquired make this avenue worth pursuing. I really just want to feel like I’m able to contribute to something bigger than me, and that can mean a lot of different things to different people.”
Sale added that his internships have taught him about professionalism and attention to detail. In addition, he improved his writing and editing skills.
Asked whether he would ever want to work the Super Bowl again, Sale replied, “In a heartbeat, I would do it again. It was lots of fun.”