BETHANY, W.Va.— Bethany College is excited to announce John Somsky ’71 as the distinguished speaker for this year’s Fall Convocation. Somsky brings a wealth of experience from the worlds of athletics, sports management, sports marketing, and traditional business management. 

Somsky concluded his career as a key member of the management team with the PGA Senior Tour, hosting the Senior Players Championship held at the prestigious Fox Chapel Country Club in Pittsburgh, Pa. His extensive professional journey includes significant roles at various renowned organizations, showcasing his versatile expertise.

Notably, Somsky played a crucial role in the Adelphia team that developed the Adelphia Coliseum naming rights contract with the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League. He was also responsible for devising strategic business plans for the Coliseum’s integration within the corporation’s comprehensive marketing strategies.  

Prior to his time with Adelphia, Somsky held positions of significant influence, including vice president of sales and development with Host Communications, a prominent NCAA marketing firm specializing in multi-million-dollar corporate sponsorships. He also served as the vice president of marketing and administration for Premier Distributing, an exclusive Anheuser Busch Distributor in N.M. His career highlights further encompass roles as the director of strategic marketing at McDonald’s Corporation and senior sports marketing manager at Gatorade.  

Throughout his career, Somsky orchestrated numerous athletic and entertainment sponsorships, including iconic programs like NFL Gatorade Punt, Pass, and Kick, NATA, and NASCAR. He played an instrumental part in featuring Michael Jordan in both Gatorade’s and McDonald’s advertising and marketing campaigns, etching his name in sports marketing history. 

Somsky also held the position of chairman of the board of the sports management department at Robert Morris University. As a member of the adjunct faculty, he contributed significantly to shaping the minds of future sports management professionals. His commitment to education and athletics was evident during his tenure as a teacher, high school coach, and athletic coordinator in Texas and Pa. 

Somsky is a proud alumnus of Bethany College, where he excelled as a football player. His educational pursuit continued with a master’s degree from West Virginia University. He has been recognized and honored for his exceptional contributions, receiving the National Man of the Year Youth Development Award in 1993 from the National Organization of State Coach’s Association Directors (NOCAD). He is a member of the Robert Morris University Sports Management Hall of Fame and the 1933 Society at Bethany. In 2019, he was presented with the Bison Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his decades-long support for Bethany College. 

Somsky and his wife, Evonne, currently reside in Canonsburg, Pa., and his remarkable career continues to inspire and impact the worlds of sports, education, and business. 

The Bethany College Fall Convocation is scheduled to take place on Sept. 7 at 11 a.m.