Aerial view of Dean College students on the field at Gillette Stadium holding the 50-yard-long banner for the New England Patriots banner ceremony.

Close to 200 Dean College students projected enthusiasm as they participated in the banner ceremony at last night’s New England Patriots home opener at Gillette Stadium.

The students, composed of Arts and Entertainment Management, Business Management, Communications, Dance, Sports Broadcasting and Sport Management majors, assisted in rolling out a 50-yard-long banner that would eventually become a projection screen with a Patriots highlight reel for the crowd to enjoy, as the six-time Super Bowl champions revealed their latest banner.

This was not a job for the weak; students were split into two groups and tasked as a team to carry two banners that would eventually become one to the center of the field … as quick as lightening. They then assembled the banner, holding the edges in place to create a blank canvas and set the stage for Patriots legends Drew Bledsoe, Ty Law, Willie McGinest, Rob Ninkovich and Rob Gronkowski and the CEO of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, who each held a trophy representing the team’s past Super Bowl victories.

Dean students were invited back on the field for the halftime show, featuring Boston-based rock band Godsmack.

This is the third opportunity for Dean College to participate, having previously performed in the NFL pregame celebration in September 2015 and 2017 thanks to Dean’s long-standing relationship with the Patriots organization. 

A few students were lucky enough to have participated in the event for a second time. Arts and Entertainment Management major Angeli Myatt ’20 was one of them. “The light show made this year’s performance a step above anything I’ve ever experienced,” noted Angeli.

Business major Angela Grosso ’21 met Angeli at the 2017 performance and the two became quick friends. “We can actually say that we went out on field together to create a show for thousands of people … twice,” said Angela. 

Sophomore Communications major Emily Wallace shares similar sentiments. “Being able to look up and see over 65,000 fans screaming and knowing that I’m at the center of it makes my heart jump. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to do something like this for my entire life; that’s why I chose Dean College.”

First-year Sports Broadcasting major Nicholas Carlson ’23 kicked off his first week at Dean with an unforgettable experience. “I was most excited to actually step foot on the field. I’ve never had the chance to do that during a real NFL game before tonight,” he said.

New York native and first-year Dance major Mariah Sheirer ’23 was thrilled to receive her invitation to take part in the experience. “As soon as I opened my email invitation, I was so excited. Participating in the ceremony was amazing — a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”  

Sport Management major Matt Calahan ’21 learned firsthand the work that goes into managing an event of this magnitude. He noted, “Being a part of the banner ceremony gave me a behind-the-scenes look at how a large event is managed. It was cool to see everything come together on game day."

Even faculty members participated alongside students, including Assistant Professor/Assistant Director of The Center for Business, Entertainment and Sport Management Dr. Ernie May. “Participating in an event of this magnitude instills responsibility, leadership and teamwork. Our students not only have the opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge, but they are also given the opportunity to bond over the shared experience with their peers,” said Dr. May. 

In the upcoming weeks, students will receive an event debrief in the classroom, bringing the learning experience full circle.

This experiential learning opportunity was brought to life through The Center for Business, Entertainment and Sport Management at Dean College, a partnership with Kraft Sports + Entertainment. 

For more pictures from the ceremony, visit the official Dean College social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat).