Whether talking about a kickball tournament, an Oscar party, or Girl Scout cookie season, people often describe the biggest annual event in their lives in a similar way, “That’s my Super Bowl.” For Nate McCoart ’13, his Super Bowl is the Super Bowl, and it has been for the last seven years.
McCoart is the Technical Operations Manager for Van Wagner Sports Entertainment, which again this year is working with the NFL, Fox Sports and the host (Hard Rock Stadium in Miami) to develop, produce, and direct a three-hour pre-game show and in-stadium entertainment during the game. This includes managing key moments (like the team introductions) and some pretty impressive video real estate. Fans often know the largest of them as JumboTrons, but that’s a specific Sony product. The generic term is a “video board,” and they come in all shapes and sizes, even a “ribbon” of screens that runs all the way around Miami’s stadium.
With 65,000 fans in attendance, some of whom spent tens of thousands of dollars to be there, and with literally 100 million television viewers watching from home, one might think McCoart would have some anxiety on the eve of the game.
“I’ve been here for two and a half weeks, and we've been through three days of hardcore rehearsals and checks, so we're in a pretty good spot going into tomorrow,” he said from his hotel room, just eight hours before his 6 a.m. arrival at the stadium. “So there's nothing really keeping me up tonight, believe it or not. We try to plan for the unexpected as best we can and have a rough idea of what our responses will be.”