The World Poker Tour has continued its recent trend of expanding its brand awareness via prominent video-content creators by signing veteran poker vlogger Andrew Neeme as the latest member of its growing brand ambassador team. Neeme is a veteran of the game, with nearly two decades of experience as a player, a half dozen years as a content producer, and more recently, has become one of several well-known co-owners of Red Rock, Texas’s Lodge Poker Club.
Neeme joins poker-loving DJ and music producer Steve Aoki and one of the Austin-area poker club’s other co-owners, Brad Owen, as WPT-patched brand representatives. Owen signed his own deal with the WPT less than a month ago.
“Joining the team of ambassadors at WPT will be a massive enhancement to my work as a player-turned-creator,” said Neeme. “I’ve always used my vlog to not only highlight the game itself, but also the experiences that surround a poker-focused life.
“Partnering with the World Poker Tour will unlock new opportunities and experiences for the vlog, as well as provide new ways for fans of this content to interact in person and online,” Neeme added. “The WPT has provided a window into the excitement of poker since day one and was a major influence on getting countless people into the game, myself included. Now we’re aligned with the goal of trying to make that window as big as possible.”
Meet Up Games grew Neeme’s personal brand
Neeme and Owen are both credited with helping popularize the concept of poker Meet Up Games, or MUGs, a takeoff on a traditional home game that worked into something of a marketing and appearance vehicle that can be implemented at virtually any poker venue. Beginning in 2017 and continuing until being interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Neeme and Owen traveled the U.S. — and on a limited basis, Europe — hosting MUGs at various stops that included well-known local players as well, using a format the continually rotated new players into the live-streamed action tables.
The WPT did not specify when Neeme will start his new WPT duties, nor whether the famed tour will implement a WPT-branded version of the Meet Up Games that helped grow Neeme’s and Owen’s poker names. The WPT did state that Neeme’s work will begin this summer, and like Owen, his duties will include attending WPT events around the world, working alongside online partners in promotional efforts, and creating WPT-exclusive content.
World Poker Tour CEO Adam Pliska cited Neeme’s marketing and content-creation accomplishments in announcing the latest signing. “A partnership with Andrew is a natural fit for WPT,” said Adam Pliska, World Poker Tour CEO. “He is a trailblazer in the poker industry whose influence on the game can be felt anywhere the game of poker is played.”
“WPT is ahead of the game in recognizing the value of content creators in the poker space,” said Owen. “I couldn’t be happier to have my long-time friend and partner joining me on the WPT team.”
The signings of both Neeme and Owen to the WPT’s brand-ambassador team is likely to trigger speculation that the WPT could have interest in a third and even more famous Lodge Poker Club co-owner, Doug Polk, as another branded web. It’s worth noting, however, that Polk was semi-retired from poker for several years and is a much more controversial poker personality in general, while Neeme and Owen are an established team with significantly less downside risk.
Featured image source: World Poker Tour