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Volume 23 No. 29
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Hania Poole, Turner Sports

Photo: Turner Sports

Hania Poole

General Manager, B/R Live, and Senior Vice President, NCAA Digital, Turner Sports
Born: Morganton, N.C.
Education: B.A., public policy and French, Duke University; MBA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In 2008, Hania Poole was eight months pregnant and standing in Matt Hong’s office, trying to get a job that she wasn’t qualified for. Poole tried her best to convince Hong to hire her as Turner Sports’ senior director of business operations.

Poole was a manager-level employee at the time and knew that she was underqualified for the position. Poole didn’t get that job, but she created such a good impression on Hong that when he had another opening in his department several months later, Poole was the first person he called.

“We made that connection and when the opportunity was right he brought me over,” Poole said. “That’s what launched what I consider my real career. That’s when my career started feeling like a career. I truly enjoy what I do and I feel like the opportunities and progression come naturally. I credit that to making that connection and taking a little bit of a risk by putting myself out there at that point.”

Earlier this summer, Turner Sports promoted Poole to one of the most visible positions in the company — running its B/R Live streaming service. Poole will continue to run NCAA Digital, which includes the uber-successful March Madness Live.

“Hania is a dynamic leader who is admired by her colleagues and industry peers for her business acumen, innovative thinking and relentless pursuit of excellence,” said Hong, who now is COO of Turner Sports. “Without exception, she places the consumer experience at the forefront of every digital product in her purview.”

— John Ourand

Getting to know...

Misperception of working in sports: That you have time to watch sports.
Proudest professional achievement:
For NCAA, it was definitely winning the Sports Emmy this past spring. For B/R Live, it’s too early to say, but I am so proud of shipping a live streaming OTT product in such a short amount of time.
Woman in sports business I’d like to meet:
Abby Wambach. She’s using her voice and celebrity to give importance to such meaningful issues for all of us.
Role of sports in social issues:
Sports is so unique in that it actually is one of the most common ways to draw people from different backgrounds together. Because of this, it’s a huge platform. I love it when I see solidarity around things like hurricane relief or breast cancer research. But these are relatively safe topics. What if we were to use the platform for things like the environment or getting out the vote? Things that are not alienating one party or another, but so important to our world and our country.