Veteran Marketers Bring Decades of Brand, Agency, Sports and Entertainment Experience
PLANO, Texas – Learfield IMG College, a multimedia rightsholder for some of the most iconic brands in college sports, recently named industry veterans Mitch Poll and Lainie Gentile to its national sales and marketing team in its New York City and Chicago offices respectively.
Together they boast more than five decades of sales, marketing and brand partnership expertise in the sports and entertainment sector. Poll, joining Learfield IMG College as vice president, national marketing solutions, is a former United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and National Football League (NFL) executive. Gentile, vice president, sales for Learfield IMG College’s Midwest Region, most recently served in key roles with 4Front, Minnesota Timberwolves, Lynx and Target Center and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
During his 10-year stint with the USOC as senior vice president and managing director, partnership marketing, Poll oversaw management of 35 global and domestic Olympic partnerships. Prior to that, he spent a decade with the NFL as group managing director, customer sales and partnership marketing. He was the league’s primary contact for many Fortune 100 brands in the development and activation of their respective NFL partnerships. Poll’s career also includes 10 years with the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics. He will develop customized marketing and media solutions for Learfield IMG College national-level brand partners and will report to Jenna Mielnicki, the company’s senior vice president, national marketing solutions.
Gentile is the former national director, corporate partnerships for 4Front, a Chicago-based sports and entertainment agency specializing in innovation, partnerships, analytics and digital. Prior to that, she was partnership sales manager for Minnesota’s NBA and WNBA franchises and their home arena. In addition to Starwood, Gentile has held strategic marketing and brand partnership roles with noted sports and entertainment organizations, AEG and ISL. She will report to Jason Oberlander, senior vice president, business development for national sales, Learfield IMG College.
“Our first-of-its-kind platform reaching 200 million college sports fans is unprecedented in the space, and we look forward to adding high-caliber talent like Mitch and Lainie as we drive new and innovative revenue opportunities for brands,” said Andrew Judelson, executive vice president, national sales and marketing. “They both bring exceptional experience from across the sports and entertainment landscape, and we’re thrilled to welcome them to Learfield IMG College.”
About Learfield IMG College
Learfield IMG College unlocks the value of college sports for brands and fans through an omnichannel platform. The company’s extensive commerce, experiential and media solutions create ultimate opportunities for fan engagement. The Learfield IMG College suite of services includes licensing and multimedia sponsorship management; publishing, broadcasting, digital and social media; ticket sales and professional concessions expertise; branding; campus-wide business and sponsorship development; and venue technology systems. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, the company has long had the privilege of being an advocate for intercollegiate athletics and the student-athlete experience. Since 2008, it has served as title sponsor for the acclaimed Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup, supporting athletic departments across all divisions.