Massachusetts native most recently worked with Chicago Blackhawks
Deputy director of athletics for external affairs Mike Polisky, most recently the team president of the Chicago Wolves and formerly president and general manager of the Chicago Rush, joined Northwestern in June of 2010.
Polisky directs and coordinates all athletics sales and marketing, oversees all corporate sponsorship, fan experiences, communications, public relations, creative services, merchandising and relationships with NU's media partners. Polisky also develops and implements sales strategies to increase ticket sales, sponsorships, merchandise and other revenue streams.
Prior to joining Northwestern, Polisky served as the president and general manager of the Chicago Rush for eight seasons (2001-08) before the Arena Football League (AFL) temporarily ceased operations. With the Rush, Polisky oversaw all business and football operations, and played a key supervisory role in public and community relations, marketing and advertising, operations, corporate sponsorship, broadcasting, ticket sales and merchandising. He was honored as the AFL's Executive of the Year in July 2008.
During Polisky's tenure, the franchise was awarded the AFL Commissioner's Award as the league's "Organization of the Year" three times (2004, 2007 and 2008). The Rush saw attendance increase every year, culminating in a 99-percent capacity average in 2008. The organization also led the AFL in corporate sponsorship five consecutive years (2004-08), and was awarded top honors in gameday operations, community relations, public relations and marketing during its existence.
With the Rush sharing the same venue as the American Hockey League's Chicago Wolves, Polisky was asked to serve as president of business operations for the Wolves once the AFL suspended operations. In his first 12 months with the Wolves, he revised the team's brand positioning to accommodate the current economic climate. He secured the team's first network television deal in more than a decade, while increasing corporate sponsorships by nearly 30 percent, group ticket business by more than 50 percent and overall ticket revenue by more than 14 percent.
Crain's Chicago Business, in its annual listing of "Chicago's Top 40 Under 40" in November 2007, highlighted the Chicagoland native as one of the top young executives in Chicago. Polisky also received the All-American Football Foundation's Outstanding Arena Football League executive award in 2006. Prior to joining the Rush, the University of Iowa graduate spent four years at Jim Beam Brands Company (now Future Brands), and five years at Public Communications, Inc., in Chicago.
Mike and his wife, Liz, have two daughters, Mia and Anna, and a son, Sam, and reside in the northern suburbs.