Reel Lives: GMA Consulting’s Pat Eichner On Unveiling The PointsBet-NBC Sports Pact, Being Outdoors, and Storytelling

Brett Smiley

reel lives art

Every gambler has a story to tell. And so does every person who chooses to make a living in this unique industry.

In our “Reel Lives” series, Casino Reports shines a spotlight on people working in the gaming business, from executives, to analysts, to media members and communications pros, and all points in between.

The subject in this interview: Pat Eichner, a strategic communications leader at GMA Consulting, which is an internationally recognized consulting firm serving the gaming, entertainment, sports, and hospitality industries.

Casino Reports (CR): Where are you from originally and in what city are you based now?

Pat Eichner (PE): I am originally from Mountainside, New Jersey, and now reside in Denver. I moved here in the winter of 2021 while working for PointsBet.

CR: What was your first job in the gambling industry and what’s your current role?

PE: I was introduced to the gambling industry when PointsBet recruited me to join in the summer of 2019 as the company’s director of communications. After spending time with both PointsBet USA and PointsBet Canada, I am now an associate partner at GMA Consulting overseeing the firm’s Strategic Communications practice.

CR: What do you view as your signature achievement so far in this industry?

PE: One thing that continues to stand out to me is when I helped PointsBet unveil their partnership with NBC Sports in the summer of 2020. My days were jam packed and a bit daunting for quite some time, but as I navigated through it all, I began to feel confidence that if I can do this I can do anything! Given PointsBet’s Australian roots, I would meet with the U.S. executive team early each morning, then work tirelessly on the PR rollout alongside counterparts at NBC Sports and Comcast Xfinity, and finally huddle with the Australian executive team late each night. When the deal was completed, I helped all parties involved manage the time difference and fulfill our legal obligation as a publicly traded company of first disclosing via the Australian Securities Exchange before quickly flipping the switch to turn on the media engine and publicize the deal across the globe.

CR: What’s your biggest remaining career goal, either inside or outside the gaming space?

PE: This answer might sound like a bit of a cop out, but my ultimate career goal is to be happy. For better or worse, I am a very passionate person and wear my heart on my sleeve.  I love helping people, and given my professional experience to date, that has typically shown up through assisting brands in telling their stories. Throughout my career, I want to wake up each morning excited to help people however I can and contribute to a team or a cause that’s much bigger than me.

CR: What’s the number-one challenge, in your view, for the gambling industry going forward? Be specific.

PE: Overall, I think the number-one challenge in the U.S. is the exorbitant cost required to simply earn a seat at the table and the right to compete alongside the companies that have deep pockets and have already cemented themselves as big-time players in the industry. Speaking more specifically from my own experience in communications, I think the number-one challenge there is providing variety and true substance in storytelling that can go beyond B2B brand building and actually resonate with consumers to help drive a company closer to their ultimate objectives.

CR: How do you like to spend free time away from work? Any interesting hobbies or secret talents?

PE: The mountains are definitely my happy place. I love to ski and snowboard, hike, and explore beautiful mountain scenery. Beyond that, I am a huge fan of all sports, so whether it’s watching, competing, coaching, etc., that all brings me joy as well.

Reel Fast

Another person in gaming who has my utmost admiration is

Seth Young and Scott Vanderwel.

Preferred web browser?

Google Chrome.

If we find you in a casino or on a casino app, the game/bet you’re most likely to be playing/making is …

Craps.

You have a 12 and the dealer is showing a 2. Stand or hit?

Hit.

The best thing about gaming industry conferences is …

Reconnecting with folks, and in some instances, getting the opportunity to actually meet people in person.

The least great thing about gaming industry conferences is …

The expo floors can be a bit overwhelming.

First vehicle you drove?

Honda CR-V.

Favorite TV show, past or present?

The Sopranos.

If you’re looking for Pat, you’ll probably catch him on the slopes at any given moment — but you can also follow him on LinkedIn here and on X here.

Previous installments of Reel Lives:

Fanatics Betting & Gaming’s Scot McClintic On Building Products, Quantitative Thinking, And Hockey Fights

OpenBet’s Jess Feil On Player Protection, Running An International Team, And Riding Horses

SBC’s Sue Schneider On The Interactive Gaming Council, Mentoring, And The Mississippi River

PrizePicks VP Of Communications Elisa Richardson On Dated Tech Stacks, Sustainability, And Atlantic City