NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Working in professional sports is a dream of many students, but they don't always know where to begin or realize the opportunities that exist.
The Tennessee Titans on Tuesday gave more than 600 high school students from around the state an inside look at how an NFL team and stadium operate, offering tours, answering questions and hoping to open their minds to what types of jobs are available in the world of sports.
Students participating in Tuesday's "Titans Learning Lab" toured all around LP Field, attending individual sessions that focused on marketing, tickets, public relations, team travel, grounds and facilities, administration and suite sales.
The idea was simple, yet effective -- have Titans staff members interact with students behind the scenes, telling them about their jobs, and offering tips and insight on how to enter the sports profession.
"I think there's a lot of interest in what goes on here at LP Field, not only with Titans games, but with every event we have here year-round in the stadium," said Don MacLachlan, executive vice president of administration and facilities for the Titans. "We wanted to give the students an opportunity to see behind the scenes what's involved on a day to day basis here at LP Field and how much fun it can be when you're able to get into a field that a lot of people don't have the opportunity to get involved with during their career."
"Voice of the Titans" Mike Keith opened Tuesday's session by telling his own story of how he entered the NFL and what it takes to succeed in the business.
"For me the number one part of my job is calling the games because that's what I dreamed of doing," Keith said. "But also, this franchise has made a positive difference in so many different ways and being a part of that organizational team is very special and a close second on the list of things that I do."
Keith called Tuesday's Learning Lab a "great opportunity" for those who attended.
"I'm so thrilled we're doing this because I think it gives students unique insight into the other part of the Titans that they may not know about -- and that's the business side," Keith said. "By giving these young people the opportunity to see into this world, it opens them up to a lot of things that maybe they would like to think about for a career. That's real special because there are so many wonderful opportunities all over sports that people never consider outside of coaching and playing."
Keith told students it's important to "keep your mind open" to all of the different possibilities out there.
"There may be something that strikes you that you never would have considered," he said.
MacLachlan hoped Tuesday's Learning Lab enabled students to better focus on what they might want to pursue in their careers.
"There are a lot of things that are involved in our jobs here with the Titans," MacLachlan said, "and I think that if all the students left knowing that they've been fullfilled just in terms of seeing some unique things behind the scenes and getting a lot of questions answered today at the Learning Lab and having a great experience, that's what this was all about."