Vice President, Corporate Communications
Mike Soltys, who was hired as a college intern by ESPN’s founder, Bill Rasmussen, in 1980, serves as vice president, corporate communications, responsible, since 2003, for strategic planning for publicity for ESPN’s U.S. networks including ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN on ABC.
His responsibilities also include oversight of public relations of ESPN’s college networks, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Radio and the communications department’s listings and viewer response areas.
After graduating from the University of Connecticut magna cum laude in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in communications, Soltys joined ESPN’s communications department full time as a staff assistant. He was later promoted to communications representative, coordinator of programming information and manager of programming information.
In 1992, he was named director of communications, directing the day-to-day operation of the department’s programming media relations activities. He received a master of arts degree in communications from the University of Hartford in 1994.
Soltys oversaw ESPN’s comprehensive 25th anniversary publicity campaign in 2004 that received 12 public relations awards, more than any other project in ESPN history. And in October 2005, he was named Media Relations Professional of the Year by PR News.
Soltys and his family reside in Southington, Connecticut, where his community involvement includes serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bread for Life and being active in his church. He also advises Youth Journalism International and is a mentor for UConn’s College of Liberal Arts and Science. In 2011, the Greater Southington Chamber of Commerce presented him with the Gail DePaolo Community Spirit Award for his “belief in giving back and helping others.” In 2013, he and wife Teresa received the Compass Award from the Southington YMCA for their “focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.” In 2015, the Knights of Columbus honored him with a “Catholic Citizens Award”.
Previously, Soltys has served on the Board of Directors of the Bristol Family Center, the Southington Chamber of Commerce and on a sports information/marketing Advisory Board for the University of Hartford. He helped open the Imagine Nation Children’s Museum in Bristol and served them for 10 years as an advisor. He also coached several youth sports, including 11 seasons of basketball.