Dan Stelly

Bachelor of Arts 2013, Journalism and Mass Communications

Dan Stelly is currently a social media manager for Major League Soccer (MLS), focusing on daily content, game coverage, collaborations with artists, and overall content strategy. He started as an intern in 2015, and since then has had a hand in the growth of an entire league (specifically its social channels) over the past four seasons. His team won Sports Business Journal’s Best in Sports Social Media for 2017, a testament to their growth, creativity, and focus on fan engagement.

After graduating from GW, he worked for Howler Magazine—an independent soccer publication—doing a combination of writing, editing, and marketing. He was also a digital media intern for D.C. United, an experience that laid the groundwork for his eventual path to MLS.

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What excites you about the work you do? The bar for social media content, especially in sports, gets higher every day. I love the challenge of thinking creatively and maximizing all the platforms/tools we have at our disposal to elicit reactions from our fans and generate excitement for the league. The rush of thousands of retweets never gets old, either.

What is the most significant career experience you've had so far, and what made it meaningful to you? This year, I attended a summit at Twitter for all professional leagues and teams in the US and Canada. Meeting the people behind some of the best social accounts in the world was eye-opening, and I came away with a greater appreciation of the digital industry (plus a ton of new ideas to try with MLS). Additionally, Instagram has been a special focus for me since joining MLS. We recently broke 1M followers while gaining recognition for our IG stories throughout the industry, including a Shorty Award in 2016 for most creative use of the platform.

Advice for current UHP students: Find a way to channel your skills and interests into tangible building blocks for your career—publish your writing, showcase your art, post your videos, etc. The type or size of the platform where your work lives doesn’t matter, so long as you can show people your creativity and skills rather than just talk about them. Being active on social media—in a positive way—can also set you apart, especially in the digital/social/publishing space!

Connect with Dan on LinkedIn