Harrah’s taps key TV, sports exec

Jul 19, 2005 4:35 AM


As if the record-breaking World Series of Poker needs any more help, Harrah’s announced it has hired Jeffrey Pollack, an Emmy Award-winning sports and television executive, as its vice president of sports and entertainment marketing.

Once his position receives the required regulatory approvals, Pollack will be responsible for managing Harrah’s sports ventures, which includes the World Series of Poker, which just completed a record-breaking run at the Rio in Las Vegas, as well as boxing and motor sports.

Pollack will be based at Harrah’s Las Vegas corporate headquarters starting Aug.1.

"Jeffrey’s proven track record of innovation and creativity across the sports and entertainment spectrum will be invaluable to us as we expand customer offerings throughout the Harrah’s portfolio of properties," said Ginny Shanks, senior vice president of brand management for Harrah’s. "We are delighted that he will be joining our company."

Pollack was most recently managing director of broadcasting and new media for NASCAR Digital Entertainment, where he led NASCAR’s use of advanced media and new technologies to increase fan accessibility and loyalty.

He also helped direct NASCAR’s network television partnerships with Fox, FX, NBC and TNT, and spearheaded NASCAR’s season-launch marketing efforts.

"My top priority is to grow the popularity of the World Series of Poker," Pollack said. "It is already the No. 1 brand in poker, but we’re going to make it even stronger through world-class media partnerships, strategic marketing alliances and superior customer service."

As executive producer of NASCAR IN CAR, Pollack received a 2003 Primetime Emmy for outstanding achievement in interactive television programming and a 2004 Sports Emmy for outstanding innovative technical achievement. In 2004, he also received the first-ever Billboard Digital Entertainment Award for the best interactive television programming.

In 1994, Pollack founded the Sports Business Daily — the first daily trade publication for the sports industry.

Under his leadership, the Sports Business Daily quickly became a "must read" for leading decision makers in the sports, entertainment and television industries.

Pollack has also served in executive positions with Broadband Sports, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Winners & Associates — one of the nation’s leading strategic communications and public affairs consulting firms.

Pollack has twice been nominated to the Sporting News 100 and was named to the inaugural list of "40 Under 40" published by Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal.

Pollack earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Political Management and a master’s degree in sports management from the University of Massachusetts.