WPT Reworks Marketing Efforts; Blum Named VP, Gilmartin Expands Role To Include Social Media

The World Poker Tour announced some changes to its marketing department last week after undergoing a sale two months ago. The recent acquisition of the company makes the WPT a private enterprise as online poker has become a more important part of the tour.

Since the pandemic, the WPT has continued to partner with partypoker for major online events, internationally and in the US. The ClubWPT sweepstakes poker brand has also become more important and continues to receive plenty of marketing efforts.

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WPT adds to marketing efforts as 20th anniversary approaches

Hermance Blum

As part of the marketing changes, longtime WPT employee Hermance Blum was named vice president of marketing. She’s been with the company since 2011 and most recently served as the vice president of WPT Europe.

Blum will be responsible for the development and execution of a global marketing plan with the goal to “increase overall awareness of the WPT brand,” the company noted in a news release.

“Whether it is at a tour stop, during our broadcasts, on ClubWPT, or in partnership with our growing list of corporate sponsors,” Blum said, “our mandate is to ensure that poker players and fans are always at the center of the World Poker Tour experience.”

Over the last decade, Blum secured long-term strategic partnerships establishing the tour in more than 12 countries. Company officials also credit her with successfully delivering incremental growth of the business in Europe.

In 2015, Blum was named Industry Person of the Year at the European Poker Awards. She comes to the role with previous marketing roles in the online poker industry.

“I could not think of a better person to lead this new department,” tour CEO Adam Pliska said. “Hermance brings a wealth of experience, a passion for poker, and an amazing vision of how to elevate the WPT brand to new heights.”

TV anchor Gilmartin’s role expanded, Bradley comes on board

The promotion of Blum is the company’s first step in a complete overhaul of the marketing department, company officials say.

“Under Blum’s guidance the department will tap into the nearly 20 years of WPT history and experience and put the poker player at the heart of everything the WPT touches,” the WPT noted in a news release.

In building out her department, Blum created new roles and hired poker industry veterans. Longtime WPT anchor Lynn Gilmartin has added the role of social content director to her duties. With the company since 2013, Gilmartin will continue anchoring televised coverage alongside Vince Van Patten and Tony Dunst.

Lance Bradley also joins the WPT as director of media and player communications. He brings more than 15 years of experience working on the media side of the poker industry.

An early focus of the new marketing team will be planning for the tour’s 20th anniversary in 2022.

“Our 20th anniversary season will be a landmark year of celebration not just for the WPT, but for the entire poker community,” Pliska said. “We are looking forward to sharing our plans over the coming months.”

A busy time for WPT

Beyond the sale of the company and structural changes, the WPT has seen plenty of activity recently. With the return of live poker, the tour has attracted some major player pools at tournament stops.

The WPT Japan event kicked off Sunday and runs through Sept. 20. Here’s a look at a few more events on the horizon:

  • $3,500 WPT Online Borgata Poker Open – Sept. 19-21 at partypoker US Network ($1 million guaranteed)
  • $3,500 WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open – Nov. 26 – Dec. 1 at Seminole Hard Rock in Fort Lauderdale, Florida ($2 million guaranteed)
  • $10,400 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic – Dec. 15-19 at Bellagio in Las Vegas
  • $2,500 WPTDeepStacks Championship – Dec. 4-7 at Thunder Valley Casino in California ($1 million guaranteed)