Mr. Dan Shulman grew up attending family tailgates outside Gillette Stadium ahead of New England Revolution games.
Some of his fondest memories, he said, were those nights he’d stand and cheer on his favorite Boston team for 90 minutes inside “The Fort,” the Revolution’s fan section behind home goal.
Now, he’s in the team’s locker room, the press box, and on the field as the team’s communications associate.
“I couldn’t imagine working for my favorite team as a little kid,” said Mr. Shulman.
“Now I wake up and do it every day.”
A 2014 CM graduate, Mr. Shulman, has dreamt of working for the Revolution since he was a little kid, sparking an interest in journalism and communications. In fact, the profession ran in his family: His father was the editor-in-chief of a hockey newspaper, as well as the radio announcer for Merrimack College’s hockey team.
By the time Mr. Shulman arrived at Catholic Memorial in the 7th grade, his interest in journalism hadn’t wavered one bit.
Mr. Shulman credits CMTV, the school’s video production club, with his initial interest in CM. But, instead of signing up for the club when he arrived for his freshman year, he opted to explore a wide range of other activities. He was a member of the tennis team, writing club, and Students Against Destructive Decisions. He also served as the PA announcer for CM’s football, basketball, and baseball teams.
Out of all the activities he participated in, Dan shined brightest on CM’s Speech and Debate team.
From 8th grade onward, Mr. Shulman competed in a wide range of speech categories, including Humorous Interpretation, Prose Reading, and Declamation. His journalistic roots eventually drew him to Radio Broadcasting, which he won a state championship in at the end of the 2012-2013 school year— the perfect end to his junior year.
Mr. Shulman’s coach, Br. Anthony Cavet, remembers him entering the season determined to dethrone the previous year’s winner.
“He practiced every day for four weeks with a fire in his eyes,” Br. Cavet said.
“The takeaway? Don’t stand between [Mr. Shulman] and a worthy goal.”
A year later, Mr. Shulman enrolled at Boston University’s College of Communication where Br. Cavet’s remarks rang true. At BU, Mr. Shulman found immediate success in the sports journalism world, writing part-time for The Boston Globe throughout college. He covered the high school sports beat and, upon graduating, continued writing for the paper.
One of Mr. Shulman’s consistent assignments was to write the Revolution game previews. However, he knew that The Globe was not in his full-time future; there just wasn't much upward mobility, and he was growing fast, he said.
So, Mr. Shulman decided to look at other sports journalism jobs. On a whim, he applied for a Communications Associate role with the New England Revolution. The wealth of experience Mr. Shulman had accumulated at The Boston Globe, despite his young age, had helped him land his dream job.
“I learned more [at The Boston Globe] than in some classes I had at BU,” Mr. Shulman said.
“They gave me a start, and it’s so rare that you can say your first job in sports journalism was at one of the best sports desks in the country.”
Now “teamside” the New England Revolution communications staff, Mr. Shulman is the aggregator of information for journalists. A typical day consists of cataloguing the team’s latest news, writing game notes, biographies, and statistics for the media, and participating in weekly production calls with ESPN. He also spends time with the players on Revolution II, a League One team in the United Soccer League, taking videos and photos at training sessions.
This day-to-day work allows him to draw on a wide range of skills collected from his time at BU and The Globe, he said.
His work week ends on game day.
“Once the game starts, I can sit back and watch our work in action, hearing some of the notes I wrote being reported and talked about,” Mr. Shulman said.
“But once the game is over, it's back to work getting the postgame media notes ready to go.”
Though the Revolution is in season, the coronavirus pandemic has changed communication operations.
No fans currently sit in the stadium, and no reporters crowd the locker room post-game. He himself is only in the office one day a week, due to distancing restrictions. Mr. Shulman and his team have adjusted, however, running more press conferences and coordinating interview efforts with journalists. The conferences are conducted over Zoom, and live streamed to season ticket holders via Vimeo.
While no writers are allowed in the room, Mr. Shulman’s team ensures their star players are present and their questions are answered.
Despite these differences, Mr. Shulman is happy where he is, both on Team Revolution and in Boston.
“There’s a lot more to the sport of soccer than meets the eye,” Mr. Shulman said.
“I want to tell a story that will teach people something. And New England is my home; it’s always going to be my home.”