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Elon sophomore promotes sustainable practices in Super Bowl City

Max Herrera traveled home to San Mateo, Calif., for Elon University’s “Fake Break” this winter to volunteer on the sustainability team with the Super Bowl Host Committee.

Elon University sophomore Max Hererra (center) with two volunteers at Super Bowl City.

By Lindsey Tipps '16

An Elon University sophomore had a super Fake Break this winter as a sustainability team volunteer with the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee.

In his role, California native Max Herrera spread awareness of sustainable resources and practices to visitors in Super Bowl City, a fan village with activities and events in San Francisco’s Justin Herman Plaza described as “the hub of fan energy and excitement leading up to game day in Santa Clara.”

Through a partnership with in/PACT, the host committee aimed for a “net positive” impact on the environment by encouraging visitors to the San Francisco Bay area to adopt sustainable practices during Super Bowl week, which culminated with the Denver Broncos topping the Carolina Panthers 24-10 on Feb. 7, 2016.

Fans were rewarded for net positive behaviors including taking public transportation, eating locally grown food and carrying a reusable water bottle. Herrera and his fellow volunteers approached guests in Super Bowl City during the week before the game and asked whether they practiced sustainable behaviors.

He also spoke with them about the importance of living sustainably and helped them enter to win prizes such as concert or Super Bowl tickets.

As a sport and event management major with minors in professional sales and Spanish, Herrera found the experience to be very rewarding. “I have always been someone who helps out the environment whenever I can,” Herrera said. “I wondered how that could factor into the Super Bowl.”

An NFL fan, Herrera suspected that the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee would have volunteer opportunities available. After visiting the website and completing the application and interview process, Herrera was selected to join the Sustainability Team.

“It took courage to approach people and talk about sustainability,” he said. “I was able to develop my interpersonal skills.”

On campus, Herrera is a tour guide and the secretary of Elon’s Rotaract Club. He is involved in the Latin American Student Organization and the Premier Sport & Event Society. 


Eric Townsend,
2/25/2016 10:40 AM