Charlie Ebersol and Mike Lanigan’s The Company have partnered with Abe Rakov, executive director of Let America Vote and campaign manager for Jason Kander’s 2016 U.S. Senate run, to launch a political advertising division. Rakov will develop strategic television ad campaigns for candidates under the production house.
As SVP Campaigns, Rakov will work directly with chairman and co-founder Ebersol.
“After seeing what Abe did with Jason Kander’s campaign for Senate, I knew I had to figure out a way to work with him,“ Ebersol said in today’s announcement. “When Abe proposed the idea of opening a political ads division, it really opened my eyes to the kind of impact the Company could have and the how we could affect real change.”
Said Rakov: “Charlie and his team have proven themselves to be excellent storytellers working with some of the biggest names in entertainment and sports. With their experience in producing hit TV shows, documentaries and films, the Company brings creative and production resources not usually available to most campaigns and I’m eager to leverage those assets to help candidates tell their stories.”
Rakov will continue as Let America Vote’s executive director.
He managed Kander’s campaign for U.S. Senate in Missouri in 2016, in the course of which he was part of the team that created this much-discussed ad:
The Democratic nominee narrowly lost to Republican incumbent Roy Blunt.
Rakov has worked on and consulted for local, state and federal campaigns for the past nine years. He also has served as the deputy Secretary of State of Missouri and worked as communications director for Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton.
The Company currently is producing the unscripted series Yoga Girls for Z Living, filming the pilot for The Tap alongside Andrew Lenchewski working and a new 30 for 30 project for ESPN following its successful premiere of This Was the XFL. Founded in 2010 by Ebersol and Lanigan, the Company’s slate also includes CNBC’s West Texas Investors Club and The Profit. Other credits include Lifetime’s Gold Medal Families and They Took Our Child: We Got Her Back, USA Network’s The Moment, TNT’s The Great Escape and NBC’s The Wanted. The Company is an entertainment partner for the national veteran campaign, Got Your 6, launching the “6 Certified” program in 2015 alongside First Lady Michelle Obama.