The Super Bowl: It's annually one of the nation's most-watched television broadcasts. And this year it's happening in what's perhaps the most fitting destination yet — Las Vegas, the Entertainment Capital of the World.

From tourism and gaming to history and health, UNLV has experts who are uniquely poised to share perspectives on the sport, as well as the city where the Big Game is being held. We're also inviting journalists who are in town to several related campus events that zero in on topics including mental health and diversity in hiring.

All inquiries should be directed to the UNLV Office of Media Relations at [email protected], unless otherwise indicated. Information on additional experts and events is available upon request.

Consumer Behavior/Tourism/Economic Impact

Amanda Belarmino — Assistant Professor of Hospitality

  • Consumerism
  • Tourism
  • Hospitality

Hospitality professor Amanda Belarmino is an expert on revenue management, strategic management, and the influence of social and cultural movements on consumer behavior. Belarmino — who has 20 years of management experience in casinos, hotels, and restaurants — can comment on topics including hotel/integrated resort pricing, the evolution of Las Vegas Strip entertainment options, and tipping.

Mehmet Erdem — Professor of Hotel Operations and Technology

  • Hotel operations
  • Lodging/restaurant technologies
  • Hospitality security

Mehmet Erdem, a professor with UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hospitality, specializes in the use and impact of technology in hospitality operations as well as the assessment of training and decision support systems, hotel revenue management, and organizational behavior. Erdem — who boasts over 25 years of hospitality operations, consulting, and teaching experience — has commented on topics including hotel room rates, hospitality guest behavior, and casino heists/cybersecurity attacks.

Nicholas Irwin — Assistant Professor, Department of Economics & Lied Center for Real Estate

  • Impact of major events on local economies
  • Impact of major events on the Airbnb home rental lodging and hotel industries

UNLV Lee Business School professor Nicholas Irwin studies microeconomics, particularly environmental and urban economics with a focus on the implications of these areas on real estate markets, human decision making, and demographics. His expertise is used to provide insight into proposed environmental or urban policies in Nevada and the economic implications surrounding them. Media has called upon him to offer insights on topics related to the Las Vegas sports economy, including Major League Baseball’s move to Southern Nevada and the housing impacts of sports stadiums.

Stephen Miller — Professor & Research Director, Center for Business and Economic Research

  • Super Bowl implications for the economy and Las Vegas tourism

UNLV economist Stephen Miller is available to answer questions about the Super Bowl’s potential effect on the Las Vegas economy. Miller is often called upon by local and national media to comment on economic trends in Southern Nevada and across the nation.

Andrew Woods —  Director, Center for Business and Economic Research

  • Super Bowl implications for economy and Las Vegas tourism

Andrew Woods is the lead author on a white paper that examined the growth of the Las Vegas sports economy, revenue generated by sporting events, and the impact on youth and female sports activities. He brings over 15 years of public policy experience to his role. Some of his research interests include transportation, workforce development, and economic diversification.


Nancy Lough — Professor of Sport Management & Co-Director, UNLV Sports Innovation Institute

  • Sports marketing and sponsorship
  • Growth of the Las Vegas pro sports economy and ecosystem
  • Flag football
  • Diversity in sports hiring

UNLV College of Education professor and longtime Title IX consultant Nancy Lough specializes in sports diversity, gender/race equity in sports, and sports marketing/sponsorship. Lough co-authored a research report that looked at the ways that social media and emerging technology can act as avenues to create new digital spaces where athletes and newer generations of sport fans converge — influencing fandom and, in turn, viewership and media sponsorship. She also founded UNLV’s very popular Intercollegiate and Professional Sport Management (IPSM) program, from which the Super Bowl Host Committee drew multiple student interns.

Marla Royne Stafford — Professor, Department of Marketing & International Business

  • Advertising and marketing
  • Consumer behavior
  • Sales promotion
  • Diversity and inclusion issues

Marla Royne Stafford is an advertising and marketing expert who boasts nearly 30 years of experience as a professor and administrator in the business discipline. Previous to academia, she held positions with high-level companies working in marketing and promotions and communications. In 2021, Stafford was elected as Fellow of the American Academy of Advertising (AAA) — an organization for which she has served as past president and was the 2016 recipient of the AAA's Ivan Preston Award for Outstanding Contribution to Advertising Research. 


Kendra Gage — Sports Historian

  • U.S. sports history
  • International women's sports
  • Olympics
  • Civil rights movement
  • 20th-century America
  • American West

Kendra Gage — an assistant professor with UNLV’s Department of Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies — is a historian who specializes in topics including international women's and U.S. sports, African American resistance and social movements, 20th-century America, and the U.S. West. She’s available to speak to media on Super Bowl-related topics surrounding sports history and race.

Michael Green — Chair and Professor, Department of History

  • Evolution of the Las Vegas pro sports landscape
  • History of Las Vegas’s growing hospitality/tourism industry

Michael Green is a professor and chair of UNLV’s history department. A former journalist and dynamic interviewee who’s full of soundbites, Green’s teaching and research particularly focus on Las Vegas and Nevada history. He has spoken to media on topics ranging from the mob’s influence on sports betting to 1910s Major League Baseball exhibition games and rodeos by the Las Vegas Valley’s earliest settlers to the evolution of entertainment offerings on the Las Vegas Strip.

David G. Schwartz — Gaming Historian

  • History of gambling
  • History of games
  • History of Las Vegas
  • Sports betting

Professor David G. Schwartz is well-versed on the history of gambling, tourism, and entertainment on the Las Vegas Strip. Currently serving as UNLV's ombuds, where he focuses on conflict resolution, Schwartz was for many years the director of the Center for Gaming Research at UNLV — a hub for scholarly analysis of gambling and gaming issues. 

Sports Betting

David Vinturella — Instructor, Intercollegiate and Professional Sport Management Program

  • Sports betting
  • Sports marketing, advertising, sponsorship, and fundraising

David Vinturella, a part-time instructor with the UNLV College of Education’s sport management program, developed and taught the university’s first ever semester-long course in sports betting. His background includes working in marketing, sales, managerial, and leadership roles at various sports, entertainment, and casino sportsbook entities, including Caesars Sportsbook and the Harlem Globetrotters. 

Health & Psychology

Dustin Clow — Professor, Department of Physical Therapy

  • Concussion rehabilitation
  • Musculoskeletal rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation for vestibular (dizziness and balance) issues
  • Return to sport training and testing

Dustin Clow is a board certified sports physical therapist and assistant professor in UNLV's Department of Physical Therapy. He works with athletes of all ages and levels, and is a consulting physical therapist with local sports teams.

Brooke Conway Kleven — Postdoctoral Scholar of Sport Data Analytics

  • Brain health for professional athletes
  • Risk factors related to brain health

Brooke Conway Kleven is a postdoctoral scholar with dual appointments at UNLV’s Sports Innovation Institute and School of Public Health. She was the lead author on research that explored a new method to detect CTE — a severe degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head impacts that athletes get from contact sports, such as boxing and football — while the athletes are still alive. Conway Kleven has a broad background in preventive and clinical health promotion as both a licensed physical therapist and certified exercise physiologist. 

Brad Donohue — Professor of Sports Psychology

  • Sport performance
  • Mental wellness
  • The psychology behind and benefits of losing

A national expert on sports psychology and wellness, professor Brad Donohue is the creator of The Optimum Performance Program in Sports (TOPPS), a mental health program targeted specifically to athletes from elementary-age through college and into pro sports. The program blends traditional mental health services with sport culture and customized performance coaching — essentially meeting athletes where they are to develop ways to enhance both mental health and performance. The program de-stigmatizes mental health care by offering wellness training to all team members and focusing on optimizing performance, not fixing problems. Donohue has been called upon by media outlets to discuss the psychology behind overcoming defeat and stigma, and finding ways to positively channel those emotions.

Jennifer Pharr — Associate Professor, School of Public Health

  • The intersection of sport, physical activity, and health
  • NFL/UNLV/CCSD community partnership promoting health and flag football participation among middle school girls

UNLV Department of Environmental and Occupational Health professor Jennifer Pharr’s research interests include disparities in healthcare access; the use of social marketing to promote health; the intersection of sport, physical activity, and health; and using sport to advance health, especially among women. She is also a lead coordinator of RUSH — Raiders, UNLV, Sport & Health —  a partnership between the university, Las Vegas’s NFL team, the Clark County School District and other partners. RUSH promotes fitness, nutrition, and mental wellness among middle school girls and teaches them the skills needed to play sports in high school. RUSH particularly encourages involvement in flag football, which will become an Olympic sport in 2028.

Kara Radzak — Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences

  • Sports medicine
  • Musculoskeletal injury rehabilitation
  • Biomechanics of lower extremity overuse injuries

Kara Radzak is a certified and licensed athletic trainer whose research focuses on the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries. For example, her biomechanical research examines the relationship between fatigue and injury risk, particularly overuse injuries of the knee. She is also interested in the influence of physical activity and previous injury history on lower extremity joint health throughout the lifespan. Additionally, Radzak's work seeks to use sports medicine models of care for non-traditional populations, including military members and women postpartum.


Michael Ian Borer — Pop Culture Expert & Professor, Department of Sociology

  • Sports fandom and what attracts people to become loyal super fans
  • The "Taylor Swift effect" that has driven up football interest among younger/female demographics
  • How football earned its spot as America's favorite pastime

Public sociologist Michael Ian Borer's research and teaching interests focus on the creative ways that individuals and groups  make sense of the world around them. Specifically, he focuses on urban interactions and community building, religious and spiritual practices and rituals, and the influence of popular culture on social relations. Much of his research aims to uncover the social dynamics of the so-called "culture wars."  He regularly has been quoted about research on cities, urban culture, popular culture, social interaction (such as masking and returning to activities like movie-going after the pandemic), identity politics, and the reasoning behind people's fascination with cultural phenomenons such as aliens and Star Wars. Borer is the author of Faithful to Fenway: Believing in Boston, Baseball, and America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.

Robert Futrell — Professor of Sociology

  • The relationship between sports and economics, politics, and social inequalities
  • How worldwide cultures view sports

Robert Futrell's research interests include social movements, social change, and urban life in the United States' desert Southwest. He teaches a course called "Sport and Society," which examines how games are viewed as a major social activity embedded deeply in the popular consciousness, culture, economy, and social organization of global society. Students explore distinctions among sporting cultures; how sports operate as an economic, political, and cultural force that reflects and sustains various social inequalities; cultural mythologies upheld by sports around the world; and the positive and negative effects sports have on people’s lives.


Dan Bubb — Aviation Historian & Travel Expert

  • Air and mass transit infrastructure
  • Air and general travel pricing

UNLV Honors College history professor Dan Bubb — a former airline pilot — is an expert on commercial aviation around the world and airport history in the American West. He's done interviews on everything from TSA etiquette on cutting the security line to the impact of Russian war sanctions on global air travel to the formation of new airlines following the pandemic travel lull. He's available to broach Super Bowl-related travel topics including how local airports are preparing for the tourist rush and determining hangar rental pricing structures, how limited space to park private jets forces flight path diversions and impacts tourism, and the importance of beefing up bus and rideshare infrastructure to safely transport visitors.

Shashi Nambisan — Director, UNLV Transportation Research Center

  • Planning and managing traffic and mass transit for large-scale events
  • Transportation safety

Shashi Nambisan heads UNLV's Transportation Research Center, an interdisciplinary educational and outreach hub housed within the College of Engineering where Nambisan has also served as a civil engineering professor for nearly two decades. His research interests include transportation safety and risk analysis, transportation planning and infrastructure management, emerging technologies, and air transportation. Throughout his career, Nambisan has partnered with public and private-sector leaders, advocacy groups, professional organizations, and other stakeholders on identifying transportation and infrastructure challenges and needs, and developing potential solutions. 

Campus Events

Feb. 6 and 7: Third Annual Black Men’s Brain Health Conference

Tuesday: 8 a.m. - 6:45 p.m.; Wednesday: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. UNLV Student Union Ballroom (or attend virtually)

This two-day conference brings scientists, practitioners, and community partners together to raise awareness about Black men’s brain health, aging, Alzheimer's disease, and related dementias. The second day of the conference will conclude with a Sports Spotlight series featuring former collegiate and NFL athletes. Media should RSVP at [email protected].

Feb. 8: On the Field of Equity: The Rooney Rule Unveiled

5-7 p.m. Thomas & Mack Moot Courtroom at the William S. Boyd School of Law

Jim Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers Ownership) and Jerami Duri (American University Washington College of Law Professor of Law & Director, WCL Sport & Society Initiative) will present on diversity, equity, and inclusion in NFL hiring. Space is limited. Registration is required.