by Andrew Blanchette
North Attleboro High School’s sports marketing classes took their second field trip of the year on Thursday, December 9th, when the three classes made a trip to Gillette Stadium. Earlier in the year, the group visited the TD Garden in Boston to meet the marketing team of the Boston Bruins and tour the Garden. Shortly after that field trip, Mr. Dupre announced a second field trip was in the works.
The structure of the field trip would be similar to the first one, with a Q and A session with the New England Patriots’ marketing team, followed by a tour of the stadium and a walk through the hall of fame.
A difference between the two field trips was that every student in all three classes was welcome to attend. For the first field trip, only students with an 85 average could go. The change in policy allowed for more kids to go and have a good time.
Dave Colasanti, who could not go on the Garden field trip, said, “I’m happy I got to go. It was a really fun experience.”
After first period, the students met in the main lobby of the high school. The bus picked them up shortly after that and took off for Gillette Stadium.
When the bus arrived at a chilly Patriot Place, students were greeted by an employee of the Hall of Fame who directed them into the theatre in the Hall of Fame. Once in the theatre, two marketing employees of the Patriots gave a short presentation on their backgrounds, and what they exactly do for their job. Joe Barrett thought it was a cool presentation and he “learned a lot.”
Following the presentation, the students were greeted by Stacey James, the Vice President of Public Relations for the Patriots and father of NAHS senior David James. Stacey brought the group on a special VIP tour through Gillette. Connor Ford said walking on the field was an “unreal experience.”
The tour started by the group walking through the gates and right onto the field. Next, the group was led into the press conference room, where big names such as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick conduct their press conferences after games. Then the group was guided down a hallway which led to the room where WBZ films the show Patriots All Access. Lastly, they were taken up to Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft’s luxury suite. As expected, the suite was luxurious.
Diehard Patriots fan Rob Congdon said the tour was his favorite part of the field trip, and that “it was awesome to get a behind the scenes look.”
After the tour concluded, the students were sent off for lunch. They were given 45 minutes to get food. Once they met up again, they walked through the Hall of Fame and had about an hour there to look around.
The students met back up at about 1:25 and the bus departed, making it back to the high school just in time for the 1:49 dismissal.
Overall, students reported that the field trip was quite enjoyable. It was a unique experience to get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on with the marketers of the Patriots, and also to get a tour of the stadium.
Colasanti also said, “Sports marketing is a class that any sports fan should consider taking.” Many of his peers agree.