LAS VEGAS: Trahan Burden Charles (TBC) is working overtime handling communications for The World Series of Poker (WSOP), the most visible event in the dizzyingly popular poker world.
Harrah?s owns the WSOP, which wrapped up its six-week run on July 16, which has been a TBC client for 18 years. When Harrah?s acquired the event two years ago, responsibility for its promotion and coordination fell into the hands of the full service Baltimore and New York-based agency.
Dave Curley, a TBC account coordinator who serves as the WSOP?s director of media relations, said that the event has doubled in size each of the past two years. This year, 30,000 players from 45 different countries participated.
?This has become a major mainstream sporting event,? Curley said. ?[Our objective has been to] move this from the lifestyle pages to the sports pages and the front pages.?
With 550 credentialed journalists attending this year?s event, media relations plays a large part in TBC?s duties. But Curley said that internal communications between WSOP factions ranging from catering to facilities management are equally important. ?There are a lot of different internal audiences that we have to bring together,? he said.
TBC also helps promote the event by drawing on Harrah?s database of millions of gamblers, seeking to boost not only participation in games, but also viewership of ESPN?s broadcasts, which will run in several months. The agency also created an initiative to allow journalists to register for credentials via the Internet months in advance, so that outreach efforts to the media can be constantly refined to achieve the desired balance.
At any given time, TBC has between five and fifteen staff members toiling on the WSOP account. Add in the Harrah?s WSOP-branded circuit of high profile tournaments across the country, and TBC?s work is ?an all year round endeavor,? said Curley.