After the Brazilian football legend Ronaldo, tennis superstar Rafael Nadal and Olympic gold medalist Fatima Moreira de Melo, PokerStars has signed yet another sports star as the company’s brand ambassador. The Barcelona striker Neymar Jr will now be representing the world’s biggest poker company. With this deal, Neymar has taken his love for poker to a professional level as he’ll now be playing on PokerStars under the screen name – “neymar-jr”.
The Brazilian star will now be promoting PokerStars in advertising, charitable events and special appearances, including participation in major live and online poker tournaments. So, you may see him little less on the grass field and more on the felt.
“Neymar Jr is one of the brightest stars in the sporting world and PokerStars is proud to be associated with him. Together we will grow the popularity of poker and show new audiences the competitive, fun and strategic game of poker,” said Michael Hazel, interim CEO of PokerStars. “Working with Neymar Jr continues PokerStars’ history of investing in mainstream athletes who want to leverage their success in competitive sports to become successful poker players.”
Amaya Chairman and CEO David Baazov said the signing is an investment in the growth of poker globally. “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,” Baazov said. “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.”
Apart from being an avid poker player, Neymar has been one of the biggest celebrities on social media which his fan following figures proves. The young Brazilian has more than 18 million Twitter followers, 14.5 million Instagram followers and 51.2 million Facebook fans.
“Growing up and playing football everyday has made me a competitive person. When I’m not playing football, playing poker and competing against my teammates on the road or in home games with friends is one of my favourite things to do,” said Neymar Jr.“To be a successful poker player, you require many of the same skills needed to be a successful footballer – mental strength is important; resilience, patience, composure and focus. I love the challenge, whether it’s on the football pitch or at the poker table,” he continued.
After the official announcement, Neymar tweeted:
— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) May 7, 2015
Neymar will be demonstrating his poker skills in a series of “Celebrity Duels” at the PokerStars European Poker Tour scheduled in August this year in Barcelona. Player out there in the tournament and football fans will be given chance to play against him in this special game series.