Harrah’s signs online deal with Sony
By Paul
Harrah's Entertainment and Sony Pictures online soap opera site have signed a deal to drive customers between the two.

The Las Vegas-based casino company will provide the 25 million customer names from its Total Rewards loyalty club card, while Sony Picture's SoapCity will provide online content and celebrities to attend live events at Harrah's casinos.

Sony and Harrah’s executives expect a good synergy between their demographics, with women between the ages of 45 and 55 constituting a major share of their customers.

'They have all this great content but no connection with their customers. We have this great connection but a singular focus of content,' said Rich Mirman, Harrah's senior vice president of marketing.

In recent months, Harrah's, which has 25 casinos in 12 states, has joined with Maxim magazine and the Web site iwin.com to develop marketing events that have driven business through the Rio, as well as Harrah's Joliet, Illinois casino.

Harrah’s is also working on a partnership with Fox Home Video that would see Total Rewards customers receive discounted products from the Hollywood entertainment company.

The deal between Harrah's and SoapCity follows roughly the same idea, giving the casino company's slot club members discounts for online products bought through the SoapCity Web site.

'A lot of what we're trying to do is become more of an entertainment-based company,' Mirman said.

Earlier this year, former Universal Studios Chairman Frank Biondi joined Harrah's board of directors, although according to Mirman, the SoapCity deal was being developed before Biondi's election to the board.

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