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Emerging Entertainment Power Players: Bill Clinton & the Seminole Tribe

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Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Mitchell Cypress signs a ceremonial resolution to finalize the Tribe’s acquisition of Hard Rock International. (PRNewsFoto/Seminole Tribe of Florida)

During the last couple of weeks in which I’ve been absent from Fast Company, a number of interesting, possibly even landmark, events have occurred related to entertainment marketing. For example, President Clinton’s agreement to speak at a TV Land advertiser presentation was a bit startling as was the Seminoles’ purchase of Hard Rock International.

Clinton’s agreement to endorse a corporate product aimed at baby boomers combined with Al Gore’s amazing work with An Inconvenient Truth suggests that both these guys, in addition to whatever other aspirations they have, will be major players in the entertainment industry for years to come. There’s a lot more wiggle room to make mistakes in entertainment while continuing to effectively intervene in mass consciousness.

As the Seminole Hard Rock Casino currently states, “It’s Your Show,” and the Seminoles’ involvement with such initiatives as the Seminole Hard Rock Roadhouse Tour demonstrate they’ve long understood that Hard Rock can essentially be thought of as an entertainment company.

The purchase is also the largest by a Native American tribe and a landmark in the development of tribal corporate culture as the Seminole Tribe becomes a global player in the restaurant and hotel [as entertainment] industries. With the entry of Hard Rock into the booming new world of Macau, the Seminoles will move from leveraging their own casino profits to leveraging casino profits from a locale expected to be bigger than Vegas.

As someone who spends almost all their work time and much of their entertainment time online, it’s oddly satisfying to see disruption in the business world that did not originate from use of the Internet.

Clyde Smith • ProHipHop • clyde(at)prohiphop(dot)com

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