Niskayuna resident Nikki Cipolla is a national finalist for the NFL's Pitch Your Best NFL Super Bowl Ad Idea Ever. Seriously contest. Cipolla is among 12 finalists from across the country who are vying for the chance to have their idea come to life in the form of a commercial, broadcast to millions of homes on Super Bowl Sunday.
Cipolla, 25, (she was born on Super Bowl Sunday) currently works for GE Energy, marketing for the Energy Learning Center, but said she dreams of working for a sports organization doing community relations work.
"I have always wanted to work in sports for teams like the Pacers -- I loved Reggie Miller -- or for Nike or the NFL or NBA in community relations. This is a huge opportunity for me," Cipolla said
Her passion for sports and for community work began at a young age. Her father, Sonny Mayer, is in his 16th year as the tennis pro at The Edison Club in Glenville where Cipolla spent her summers playing tennis and teaching lessons.
"I loved the instant gratification that came with teaching kids. I hate sitting at a desk all day," she said.
Cipolla received a scholarship to play tennis at Siena College, where she broke records. "I've had a lot of success in tennis, but at some point I had to abandon the pro dream to have a social life. I fulfilled my goal to play tennis in college, and I left a legacy."
Cipolla's tennis career ended upon graduation, and she said she misses the adrenaline rush she used to feel when stepping on the court before a big match.
"You can't play pick-up tennis," she said. "When my career is over, it's over. I want that adrenaline rush and fierce nature. Sports marketing is one place where you can replicate that feeling."