There were 23 top college prospects at Radio City Music Hall as VIPs for the NFL Draft. Longtime Packers fan Melissa Colgan was alongside them getting the same treatment as the grand prize winner of the Barclays 2013 NFL Draft Jersey Press Experience.
Colgan grew up in LaCrosse, Wis., and is now a resident of New York City. As a holder of the Packers Extra Points credit card, she won a national contest that gave her and a guest exclusive access. They rubbed shoulders with NFL executives and the top draft picks. She also soaked in every moment.
“It’s fascinating to be behind the scenes, get an inside look and see how many people play a role,” Colgan said. “So many people have something to do with putting the event on, and it’s interesting to get an insider’s perspective.”
She was walked through Radio City Music Hall with Paul Zoppi, segment manager of the NFL Extra Points Program for Barclays.
“She’s saw how it all happens,” said Zoppi. “She’s had the VIP tour and she saw the names for each player pressed on the back of each jersey. Only a handful of people ever get to see this, so it’s very exclusive. The NFL is very protective of who is back there.”
Colgan found out last week she won the contest, leaving her relatives back home in Wisconsin “incredibly jealous.” She has a sister who goes to Packers games several times each season, but while Colgan has visited Green Bay for training camp, she plans to come to her first game at Lambeau Field this season.
Colgan moved to New York to work as a style editor for a large publication. She’s used to attending big fashion events. The draft exceeds them all, and the VIP experience obviously cranked it up a notch.
“I live in New York and I’m around crazy things all the time,” she said. “This has been wild, just to see the enthusiasm and the excitement. It’s crazy. The fans here are as excited about next season as I am.”
While the atmosphere has her primed for the upcoming season, perhaps the most fun was receiving the exclusive gifts.
“They actually sewed my name on the back of a jersey,” Colgan said. “It’s really great. They gave me my own hat. I’ve watched this on TV so many times, and now I’m really part of it.”