HEAT Original: Sammy Schulman
According to Sammy Schulman, Executive V.P. and Chief Financial Officer at the Miami HEAT, growing up in Louisville, Ky. meant being raised on basketball. So 25 years ago when he had the opportunity to combine his love of basketball with his profession, it was a dream come true.
In 1987, Schulman was living and working in Dallas, Texas as an Audit Manager with Peat Marwick Main, a “Big 8” accounting firm at the time. But when he was recruited to come to Miami to work for the new NBA franchise, it was a no brainer decision for him. Reminiscing back on his time at the HEAT Schulman said, “25 years has honestly gone by in a flash! It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long.”
In his 25 years at the Miami HEAT, Schulman has seen the organization and its employees grow. “I came to work for the HEAT in November of 1987, which is about a year before we ever played a game,” said Schulman. “And when I got here there were five people in the office, so it was really a start-up.” Now the organization has about 250 employees.
Schulman has had 25 years of unforgettable memories working with the HEAT. He fondly remembers the first playoff game at the Miami Arena: “To this day, I don’t think I’ve ever been in a building that loud. Even as loud as this building has gotten [AmericanAirlines Arena], I’m not sure it was as loud as that building was the very first playoff game.” He said, “All of Miami who was there was just so excited, because it was our first playoff game and it was like ‘Okay, now we’re really in the NBA.’” Schulman’s other favorite moments at the HEAT include the two NBA Championships. It was special not only being able to share with co-workers but also being able to share the Championship at the AmericanAirlines Arena in 2012, as well as in Dallas in 2006, with his wife and three children who are huge HEAT fans.
While the team has grown and the culture of the organization has changed throughout the years, there’s one thing that has remained the same all these years: “We realize that the fans are the lifeblood of the organization,” he says. “Without the fans, there is no organization. Because most of us are fans as well, we look at everything from a fan’s perspective, from promotions, to season tickets. Putting fans first is what has remained a constant throughout the years.”