Few people, if any, have more to balance on a New England Patriots game day than Abbey Thistle.
As the Director of Event Presentation and Fan Engagement for Kraft Sports + Entertainment, she cues fireworks and pyrotechnics, decides what music to play at Gillette Stadium and when, and ultimately ensures all the moving parts that go into an enhanced fan experience run smoothly.
This season, with the completion of the nation's largest outdoor video board, her responsibilities have gotten much bigger.
"It completely has changed the feel of this building," Thistle said, appearing on "The Today Show" on Monday morning to showcase the crown jewel of Gillette Stadium's recent $250 million renovation to its north end zone.
The 22,000 square foot video board debuted to a primetime audience on 'Sunday Night Football' for the Patriots' Week 2 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. Thanks to the segment, the country also got to see a unique, behind-the-scenes look at everything the game day presentation entails.
"Ceremonies, anthems, the fan elements, and the music — my role is to bring that all together," Thistle said.
"It's truly just conducting an orchestra. … We are here at least 6 hours prior to the game preparing. I have a crew of about 60-plus people on game days that all have to come together and make this work. We pretty much control everything that happens except what happens on the football field."
She may not be assembling the roster or calling plays, but Thistle is in charge of a crucial intangible for the Patriots.
Whether it's playing Bon Jovi's "Living' on a Prayer" or giving Tom Brady the OK to ring the fog bell atop Gillette Stadium's reimagined, 22-story lighthouse, setting the ambiance and energy is her forté.
"My role is truly the fans, right?" Thistle said.
"My role on game day is to make sure the fans are creating that home field advantage for the team. I do believe that they contribute to winning football games here."
She has years of experience to back up that claim, and thanks to the new video board, her impact is now even bigger.
See the full segment from "The Today Show" here.