Change of command
PUEBLO, CO – Jeffrey Pollack sat captivated as he watched his first bull riding event last March.
The veteran sports executive, officially named Executive Chairman of the PBR earlier today, had decided to attend the Ty Murray Invitational in Albuquerque, NM, before engaging in any advanced discussions about a leadership role in the PBR.
“I needed to go see this for myself,” he said. “I did not leave my seat at all during the event. I was absolutely riveted. I was very engaged, and fell in love with it right away.”
New Jersey-born and New York-raised, Pollack said he was “blown away” by the entire event. In a Podcast posted at http://www.pbr.tv, he said that the sport of bull riding is about “courage and bravery” as well as “incredible athleticism,” all presented in a unique entertainment experience.
While the Albuquerque event may have been his first personal experience with the sport, he was not unfamiliar with the PBR brand.
“Prior to that, I had been a fan of the PBR as a business for a number of years,” he said.
In fact, he once sat on a conference panel with Randy Bernard, the PBR’s former CEO.
“I turned to him afterwards and I said to him, ‘I really have a lot of respect and admiration for what you’ve done with the PBR in a relatively short period of time,” recalled Pollack. “It’s just interesting that things took the turn that they did, and I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity.”
Pollack comes to the PBR after leading the World Series of Poker since 2005. Under his watch, the sport of poker was fundamentally reinvented as a business, and transformed into a worldwide sports and entertainment phenomenon.
Prior to that, he won two sports Emmys in his role as Managing Director of Broadcasting and New Media for NASCAR Digital Entertainment. He also worked as Vice President of Marketing & Corporate Communications for the NBA.
During his 20-minute Podcast, Pollack said he will be working closely with the senior management team already in place at the PBR. He also talked about some of his marketing philosophies.
“My core philosophy about sports and sports marketing is… about the selling of hope,” he explained. “It’s about giving fans an opportunity to click into something bigger than they are, in a way, and something that offers the hope of greatness.
“Everyone wants to go to a sporting event and see something great, whether it’s someone having a 90-point ride, as is the case with the PBR, or, in the case of the NBA or NHL or the NFL, their favorite team winning a world championship. It’s all fundamentally about the same thing.”
Pollack went on to say he hopes to help the PBR “reach out to new fans” and to continue telling its unique story.
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the Oct. 23, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News