Some Super Bowl fans watch the game with scrutiny analyzing the plays meticulously.
Some Super Bowl fans watch the commercials with the same vigor.
Tomasa Sanchez, a journalism and media studies senior, is one of the latter.
Her memories the NFL's championship game take her back to growing up in Guam as a young child and Tucson as a high schooler.
In Guam, it was known as Super Bowl Monday, and some schools set up their auditorium screens for kids to watch the big game airing at the same time as the U.S. In Tucson, Sanchez was laser focused on how the ads came to fruition.
“I wouldn’t mute the TV during commercials,” said Sanchez. “The Super Bowl was exciting because I liked watching ads. My dream has always been to create a Super Bowl ad.”
And that passion drove Sanchez to apply for an internship this summer with Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee, a nonprofit group tasked with helping Las Vegas prepare to host the National Football League's Super Bowl LVIII in 2024.
The committee works with local leaders in the private and public sectors serving as direct liaisons between the NFL and the local community.
This summer, Sanchez was selected as a communication intern spending three months working to organize one of the biggest sporting events in Las Vegas’s history.
“I came here in 2020 during the middle of the pandemic and freshman year of college. Throughout the years I have seen Las Vegas reopen and become the city I've always heard about. Sports just takes it to the next level, and hosting the Super Bowl shows how resilient Las Vegas is,” Sanchez said.
Since September 2022 — in partnership with the NFL Foundation, United Way and UNLV Sports Research & Innovation Initiative — 22 UNLV students have participated in the internship program with the Las Vegas Super Bowl LVIII Host Committee Internship program. And another dozen are lined up for the experience this fall. Students have worked in sales, marketing, philanthropy, operations, and communication.
“The most exciting part is discovering what the sports industry and working in the marketing and communication industry actually looks like. There are so many different layers,” Sanchez said. “We have so many different opportunities to do projects and meet people. Everyday I get up and I'm excited. The internship has given me the skills to understand how sports communication works.”
Sanchez has worked with mentors on communication strategies to amplify the importance of Las Vegas’ first time hosting the Super Bowl. She’s honed her skills in media outreach, writing, researching and public relations. She’s been a part of meetings with local ad firms producing ads slated to run during the Super Bowl next year.
Sanchez said the internship gave her the opportunity to learn how community engagement works and why building a team with a variety of community experts is key to successful outcomes.
“Their different perspectives will make it a really great event. It just doesn’t take people in sports to host a Super Bowl,” she said.
Plus, she’s appreciated the chance to work with students outside of her major.
“We all have the same mindset, passion and worth ethic and going to work with them and being able to collaborate with them is also a really fun aspect of the job,” Sanchez added.
Sanchez has had four internships and worked for the Rebel Media Group, housed in the UNLV School of Journalism. She advises students to not shy away from telling their stories when applying for internships.
“Take the time to draft a resume that will represent yourself well. Don’t skip over the cover letter, because whatever you accomplished shows on your resume but what you write in the cover letter is really showing who you are and your passion and why you want it and that will put you apart from your other applicants,” Sanchez said. “Don't sell yourself short, if you have something to say and it and you feel it's important to show who you are, whatever you have to say, say it.”