Posts Tagged ‘Team SportStars’

Cristiano Ronaldo joins PokerStars – See Video Here

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

ronaldo-pokerstarsMaybe PokerStars is like all us fair-weather soccer fans who get World Cup fever every four years. After all, they just added the biggest possible footballer to Team SportStars – Cristiano Ronaldo – a year after the 2014 Cup.

In a move that I, and only I predicted weeks ago (…okay, probably not even close to true), Ronaldo finally confirmed all the rumors that have been swirling about signing with PokerStars. “I’m looking forward to taking my game to the online and live poker tables and meeting my fans head to head,” said Ronaldo. “Although football is my world, poker has always been my game. I’m very excited to join the team.”

Michael Hazel, interim CEO of PokerStars, now turned Ronaldo fanboy, had some glowing things to say about their new sponsored athlete. “Ronaldo is one of the most famous names in the world and PokerStars is thrilled to partner with him. We look forward to him spreading his love of the game worldwide by sharing his PokerStars experiences with his huge social following and fan base,” Hazel said.

This move comes on the heels of PokerStars signing Neymar, which was not long after Zlatan Ibrahimovic turned his nose up at the brand. In any case, it seems that Stars definitely has two guys who can really contribute to their growth from a social-media-popularity-contest standpoint.

Ronaldo has 103 million Facebook fans along with 35.5 million Twitter followers. Neymar has 51 million Facebook friends and 18 million Twitter followers. Combine the two together and you have a hell of a lot of people viewing their posts.

It’s still unclear how much PokerStars is paying for these two soccer legends – definitely millions of dollars to each. But given the massive social-media reach they have, and endless line of adoring groupies, it won’t be hard for Ronaldo and Neymar to generate more popularity for the world’s largest poker site.

Neymar signs with PokerStars – What will his Impact be?

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

neymar-pokerstarsWorld-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.

PokerStars could be eyeing Neymar

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

neymar-pokerstarsPokerStars is apparently good at dealing with rejection because, not long after Zlatan Ibrahimovic turned down their sponsorship deal, they’re rumored to be going after Neymar.

This union was already suggested by multiple poker news outlets – including ThePokerPractice – when the story of Ibrahmovic turning down a €4 million deal surfaced. So it’s little surprise that PokerDoc is reporting that PokerStars and Neymar are in discussions. Here’s a bit from their story:

The information came to Pokerdoc through a source who was recently playing a home game in the house of Neymar own. She said negotiations for hiring the playmaker of the Brazilian team are well advanced and, therefore, the announcement may come out soon.

Okay, so yeah, the ol’ somebody-who-plays-in-their-home-game report isn’t always the most-reliable source. But it also isn’t the craziest thing in the world to think that Neymar could be considering a poker sponsorship deal – especially since he’s put pictures of his home game on Instagram before. Additionally, it’s obvious that Stars is willing to spend money on an elite footballer, given that there’s confirmation of their pursuit of Sweden’s Ibrahimovic.

The report goes on to claim that if the 23-year-old Brazilian does sign with PokerStars, he would be playing in at least three live tournaments every year, including EPT Monte Carlo. PokerStars Brazil has yet to confirm the report, and they merely stated that their discussions with Neymar are just a rumor at this point.

Even still, I can only fantasize about what Neymar could bring to the table regarding boosting poker’s image. He’s young, likes the game and has some of his best football years ahead of him. So if PokerStars does indeed sign him to a deal, it would not only be big for them, but also the rest of the poker world.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic says No to PokerStars’ €3-4 million Offer

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

zlatan-ibrahimovic-pokerZlatan Ibrahimovic may be one of the biggest soccer stars in the world, but he has no intent on being one of the biggest poker stars. The Swedish-born footballer, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain, reportedly said no to PokerStars in a sponsorship deal that would’ve paid him €3-4 million a year.

This report comes via Le Parisien, as they revealed the top 10 secrets about Ibrahimovic, with #4 being that he “may refuse gold contracts.” I don’t speak French, so I’ll let Google Translate explain what Le Parisien wrote on the matter:

With an annual salary slightly above €16 million gross, the Swede is the highest paid player in Ligue 1. With this compensation, it is allowed to refuse it a few weeks ago, a contract with the Poker-Stars society. This partnership, which had found him VIP Consulting agency Hocquemiller Frank, was to bring him 3 to €4 million. At the last moment Ibra declined the offer, without explanation.

While there’s been no official explanation on why Ibrahimovic denied the deal, this TwoPlusTwo thread throws out some possible explanations, including that “he doesn’t like poker,” “he can’t be bothered doing silly commercials,” and “his father is a Muslim and gambling is banned in that religion.”

Okay, so a lot of this is pure rumors and speculation, but there has to be some good reason why he wouldn’t take an easy fortune to do a few silly commercials for PokerStars – besides that he makes €16 million a year already.

In any case, there are lots of other fish in the sea if Stars decides to snag another footballer for Team SportStars – aside from the retired Ronaldo of course. The other Ronaldo, Neymar, Gareth Bale or Lionel Messi are other mega-stars who might be willing to listen to talks that include €4 million for pretending to like poker. In Neymar’s case, it’s not even pretending since he actually plays.