Team SportStars is an elite group of Sportspersons from around the world endorsed by PokerStars. As the company’s brand ambassadors, the SportStars represent the brand PokerStars in the international games, exclusive tournaments and promotional events. One big name from this list of stars missing these days is Rafael Nadal. The Spanish tennis pro was signed by PokerStars in July 2012 for 12 million euros for a 2 year contract (option of 3rd year).
Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr, Ronaldo, Fatima Moreira de Melo, Marcus Hellner continues to be in this list of PokerStars’ ambassadors. Rafael Nadal has been missing from the Team SportStars page on PokerStars website. It would be noteworthy to mention here that Nadal was signed by PokerStars just two week after Spain opened its gates to the regulated online poker market in 2012. Hence, getting Nadal onboard helped PokerStars spread its wings in the country.
“It’s no secret that I love to compete and try my very best in everything, whether that’s tennis, golf or video games,” Nadal said after signing the contract in 2012. “When I discovered the game of poker, I chose to join PokerStars because they understand what it takes to be the best and associate themselves with the qualities of champions. I’m very happy to be working with them.”
Nadal scaled up at the poker table with a few cashes at the European Poker Tour in Prague, and also challenged other stars such as Ronaldo and beat him in the heads-up dual. For past few months, he has been off the poker felt and hasn’t made public appearances in poker events. It is speculated that PokerStars as a company might not be deriving value from this sponsorship contract and hence decided to drop him out. Recently the company signed the British Snowboarder Zoe Gillings-Brier as the new member of its Team SportStar.
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