Portugal and Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, current holder of the Ballon d’Or award for the world’s best player, has joined Team PokerStars as a brand ambassador to promote the leading poker operator in global marketing campaigns.
Ronaldo will promote PokerStars in advertising campaigns, as well as making special appearances at major live events and in online poker tournaments, playing under the C.Ronaldo user ID. A special event will be held later this year, offering fans a chance to meet him and compete against the player in a poker game.
“I like playing for winning teams and PokerStars is the perfect partner for me,” Ronaldo said. “As a brand, it is always looking at ways to improve and stay ahead of the curve, and as an athlete that is something I truly respect. I started playing poker a few years ago and I love the competition, strategy and fun.
“I'm looking forward to taking my game to the online and live poker tables and meeting my fans head to head. Although football is my world, poker has always been my game. I'm very excited to join the team.”
PokerStars interim chief executive Michael Hazel said that PokerStars was thrilled to partner a player he described as one of the most famous names in the world.
“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.
“Ronaldo is part of a new generation of global superstar athletes that work hard, play smart and encourage their fans to share in their lives,” Amaya CEO David Baazov commented. “We're proud that Ronaldo - and fellow elite player Neymar Jr - have chosen to make PokerStars a partner in their journey and to share their love of the game of poker with their legions of fans.”
Ronaldo is currently one of the world’s most successful footballers, having won the Ballon d’Or World Player of the Year award three times, the Champions League twice and a number of league titles, scoring around 225 goals in 200 games for his current club Real Madrid.
He is the most followed person on Facebook with more than 103m fans, and has amassed over 35.5m followers on Twitter.
He becomes the latest high-profile sportsperson to sign up as a brand ambassador for PokerStars alongside legendary Brazil striker Ronaldo, Olympic field hockey captain Fatima Moreira de Melo, Barcelona footballer Neymar Jr and tennis legend Rafa Nadal.