World-famous football star Neymar signed a deal to represent PokerStars, ending weeks of speculation on the matter. Neymar will join his Brazilian countryman and retired footballer Ronaldo along with tennis champ Rafael Nadal on Team SportStars.
Signing the 23-year-old definitely seems like a good move on PokerStars’ part. After all, Neymar is young enough to connect with a youthful fan base, and he actually enjoys playing the game too. His impact will really be felt through his social media following, with 51.2 million Facebook followers and 18 million Twitter subscribers.
Stars is really trying to hit the social media world hard, as their recent forays into the live-streaming site Twitch indicate. So it’s only natural that they would add a famed athlete who has almost 70 million collective social media followers.
Amaya Chairman and CEO David Baazov spoke about the mass appeal that Neymar will have on their brand with the following statement:
“Neymar Jr is a young and extremely charismatic megastar who loves interacting with fans on social media, is comfortable on camera and loves the game of poker. And as a superstar with one of the world’s most famous football clubs and football nations, his appeal is global. This partnership is a great opportunity to market the game of poker across the globe and attract new fans.”
What’s interesting is that Stars made an attempt at signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic to a sponsorship deal worth €3-4 million a year. The Swedish footballer said no, but they actually landed a more-famous and better fit for their brand in Neymar. Now, this isn’t to say that the sponsorship buck stops on the FC Barcelona forward – there’s always the chance that they could sign Cristiano Ronaldo too. But it’s pretty clear that PokerStars already has made an expensive, but great move by adding Neymar.