Senior Vice President, Production and Content Strategy
Maria Soares, who joined ESPN in 1992, was named senior vice president of production and content strategy in April 2022. Soares is responsible for the morning and afternoon editions of SportsCenter. In addition, she oversees the content creation and distribution strategy for studio production, focusing on maximizing ESPN’s audience through strategic efforts, via SportsCenter, ESPN+, Event Production, Digital, sport-specific studio shows and more. She manages ESPN’s industry-leading universal news group, and is responsible for the universal coverage group, which includes ESPN’s bureau staffs, coverage producers and assignment editors.
Soares spent the first 25 years of her career on the ESPN International and ESPN Deportes businesses. In doing so, she has overseen those event production teams, studio programs, the digital video team, the global assignment desk, the talent office and some of the group’s biggest projects. She has played a critical role in the launch of more than 10 ESPN networks, and the video support of more than 12 global ESPN.com editions. Her day-to-day has always involved producing content in multiple languages, while collaborating with other ESPN production facilities around the world.
Soares previously had oversight of ESPN’s global soccer production unit — established in the fall of 2021 — encompassing all soccer produced for ESPN across all global regions and platforms. She also previously led the coverage of NCAA Volleyball and NCAA Gymnastics from 2019 until early 2022.
Soares joined ESPN while in her last semester studying Broadcast Journalism at Emerson College (where she graduated cum laude) to develop a new Portuguese-language network to be launched from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., headquarters for distribution throughout Brazil.
During her tenure at ESPN, Soares has accumulated a long list of production credits, including four Olympic Games, four Pan American Games, the 2000 Home Run Derby (the launch of ESPN Deportes), the first-ever, Spanish-language coverage of the X Games, and numerous Super Bowls, Grand Slams, Cricket World Cups, and Major Soccer Championships.
Soares sits on several ESPN groups, including Editorial Board, the D&I Executive Council and the Executive Women’s Forum. She is a graduate of the WICT Betsy Magness Leadership Institute and the WISE Women’s Executive Leadership Institute (WELI). She is a native of the Azores Islands and speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish.