Before she even started her marketing co-op with the Philadelphia Eagles in the fall, Victoria Louca, a pre-junior sport management major in the Center for Sport Management, had already scored. The chance to intern with her favorite NFL team was an amazing opportunity, one that she’d been dreaming about since before she even started at Drexel University.
Then the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl.
“This has been the most surreal part for me. So much so that I have not even been able to put it into words yet,” said Louca. “All I can really say for now is just the fact that the team that I’ve been following since I was a little girl is going to the Super Bowl, let alone the fact that I am an intern during the season that they are doing this, is an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience that I am so grateful to have and will absolutely never forget.”
She said that the co-op has been “a huge eye-opener,” and not just because she’s been on the sideline every home game this season as part of her duties. Not even just because she was able to attend more home games to watch her team these past two terms than she ever had in her whole life, or because she is going to actually attend the Super Bowl and watch from the stands of Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium.
“On the business side, it’s very interesting to see how plans have unfolded throughout the season — planning for things within a week because you don’t know whether or not you’ll win the next playoff game,” she explained.
Victoria Louca, top left, celebrating with Swoop and the Eagles' marketing team at Lincoln Financial Field.
As a marketing intern, Louca was working behind the scenes at some of the season’s biggest events, like attending and coordinating playoff pep rallies leading up to the Super Bowl and selling kids club memberships during game day festivities at Lincoln Financial Field’s HeadHouse Plaza area. Every week, she visited different middle school to promote Play 60, an NFL initiative to encourage kids to be active for 60 minutes a day, through managing events and pep rallies at the schools. And on a more day-to-day basis, she said, she managed the team’s marketing email inbox, packaged and shipped autographed items to fans, prepared and organized game day activities at the Eagles’ NovaCare Complex and the stadium, and conducted research for projects, in addition to whatever else was thrown her way.
“Sometimes you need to make quick decisions in order to figure things out, and I can’t describe how valuable that has been to learn — not everything at work will be easy to figure out, and to me, that’s one of the most exciting parts,” she said. “I’m very thankful that I’ve been able to be exposed to and learn something so important so early on because it will be a huge help for the rest of my career.”
Louca, who does want to work in the NFL someday, called her experience “tremendously beneficial.” She still doesn’t know where in the organization she’d want to work, but she says the exposure to one team’s marketing department, as well as departments like public relations and community relations, helped her get a better understanding of what each entails. On co-op, she worked next to the Eagles’ department of corporate sponsorships, and she was able to take what she learned in a class on corporate sponsorships taught by the Center for Sport Management’s Assistant Teaching Professor Lawrence B. Cohen, JD, to work with the group.
And, of course, being with a NFL team — her hometown NFL team, her favorite NFL team — every step of the way during its run to the Super Bowl has certainly exposed her to the very best that sportsmanship, camaraderie and hope has to offer.