The Girl on SportsCenter: How a Student Went Viral

By Lisa Striffolino

Alyssa Bernal, University of Tampa junior mathematics major, posted a video of the Super Bowl parade on Wednesday, Feb. 10 that was seen by almost 1 million users on TikTok,” and received attention from media platforms such as Sportscenter and Sports Illustrated.

“I think it’s really cool that the video became this popular because everyone that I know reposted it on their Instagram stories,” said Bernal. “Even people who I haven’t talked to in a while [messaged] me saying how cool it was.”

Currently sitting at 728thousand views, 80.5 thousand likes, and over 1,700 comments as of Monday, March 1, Bernal’s TikTok video is captioned “How’s your college?” and shows a video of her panning around UT’s campus while the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl Parade floated by on the Hillsborough river, while also capturing clips of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski on their boats.

UT students, including Bernal, were able to have a front row seat at the Buccaneers’ Parade as they stood on campus near the Hillsborough River. Seeing these football stars up close and personal is not something that many college students get to experience on their own college campus.

Although originally uploaded to her personal TikTok, Bernal said that it was the repost on Sportscenter’s account that got her video to the amount of views it has today.

“I think the video got as much attention as it did because Sportscenter reposted it,” Bernal said. The video has been posted on Sportscenter’s Instagram and TikTok (which has a following of 21.4 million, and 22.6 thousand, respectively), Bleacher Reports’ TikTok (which has a following of 2.2 million), and Sports Illustrated’s TikTok (which has a following of 1 million).

She said that she was not very shocked that the video became so popular, but she never expected she would get a direct message from a company like Sportscenter asking her if they could have her permission to post the video. It did not take long for the TikTok to start blowing it up, she said.

“It took about 15 minutes before it started going viral,” Bernal said. “I would refresh my TikTok, and the views would jump about two thousand each second. The comments were blowing up also.”

Not only did Bernal go viral on TikTok and get noticed by Sportscenter and Sports Illustrated, but she has gained over 6,000 followers on Instagram, and is now receiving modeling opportunities from photographers who want to book her for photoshoots.

She said that she posted a different video on TikTok that reached over a million views in the past, but this TikTok specifically has definitely changed her life in more ways than one.

“There have definitely been impacts on my life from this video,” said Bernal. “I got asked to do a photoshoot with a local photographer, and now another photographer wants to shoot. I am also now known at UT as ‘the girl on Sportscenter.’”

To keep up with ‘the girl on Sportscenter’, you can follow Bernal’s TikTok at @alyssaabernal.

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