Best in show: Seminole Tribe wins ‘Oscar of politics’ at national awards ceremony

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The Tribe won 10 national Pollie awards.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida is on a hot streak that few across the country can match.

After cleaning up at the so-called “Emmys of politics” earlier this month, the Tribe brought home more hardware at the “Pollies” — the Oscars of political advertising — during the annual award ceremony in Puerto Rico last week.

The Tribe won 10 awards in all, including the overall “Best in Show” award for running the best ballot initiative campaign in America and the overall “Best Digital or Internet Campaign” award, also in the ballot initiative category. The Tribe also won top place in the Paid Field category that included team members Let the Voters Decide and Groundgame.

Their haul included six first place, three second place and one third place award. They also landed three golds, five silvers and two bronzes. No initiative in the country nor any firm in Florida won more awards than the Tribe and Cornerstone Solutions.

The awards stemmed from the Tribe’s successful campaign to defeat a ballot initiative that sought to open up the sports betting market to non-Tribal gaming companies and another that would have brought new non-Tribal casinos to the state.

The wins were the product of a team effort.

The Tribe’s campaign team was assembled by Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen, Seminole Tribe General Counsel Jim Shore and Seminole Tribal Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. It included Rick Asnani of Cornerstone Solutions, Max Goodman of the Max Goodman Agency, Adam Goodman of Ballard Media, and Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies.

The Pollies, organized by the American Association of Political Consultants, are considered the premier awards of the political advertising industry. The Tribe was among more than 200 entities that collectively submitted more than 1,100 entries across 10 mediums, including television, digital, direct mail/print, radio and phone. Only 11% of entries earned a Pollie Gold — the top honor.

“The 2021 campaign cycle featured no less challenges than 2020, and continued to test long-standing campaign tactics and force innovation,” AAPC President Becki Donateli said. “The firms honored with a Pollie Award this year developed new strategies and campaign tools whose impacts were felt in the results of elections across the country. AAPC offers our most fervent congratulations for their wins.”

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


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