Rich Arden / ESPN Images
Vice President, Corporate Communications
Mike Soltys, who was hired in the summer of 1980 as a college intern by ESPN’s founder, Bill Rasmussen, serves as vice president, corporate communications. From 2003-2021, Soltys was responsible for strategic planning for publicity for ESPN’s U.S. networks including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN on ABC, ESPN’s college networks, ESPNEWS and ESPN Radio.
His current focus is on ESPNPR’s content creation—including its social media feeds, its corporate blog ESPNFrontRow and media website ESPNPressRoom—and on publicity and issue management for ESPN’s news operation, including the flagship SportsCenter and all of the company’s college sports coverage and networks.
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.
After several promotions in the 1980’s, in 1992, he was named director of communications, directing the day-to-day operation of programming media relations activities. 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 was then named Media Relations Professional of the Year by PR News. In 2008, The US Basketball Writers Association honored Soltys with the Katha Quinn Award for service to college basketball media.
Soltys resides in Southington, Connecticut, where his community involvement includes, since 2016, serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bread for Life during a transformative period for the food organization, and being active in his church. He also advises Youth Journalism International and is a mentor for UConn. Soltys has served on ESPN’s Editorial Board since it was created in 2003.
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.” In 2021, in recognition of his community contributions, Soltys received the Gold Medal Award from the Southington chapter of UNICO International.
He received a Master of Arts degree in communications from the University of Hartford in 1994. Soltys gave the Distinguished Alumnus Address to UConn’s 2017 Communications class and he, his wife and their four children, all UConn grads, were honored as a family at the 2016 UConn Alumni Legacy Breakfast. Soltys and his sisters sponsor an annual scholarship at UConn, in honor of their parents, for an undergraduate who is working toward a career in athletic communications.
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.