Brazilian Football Superstar Ronaldo Joins PokerStars

Brazilian Football Superstar Ronaldo Joins PokerStars

RonaldoPokerStars made a huge commitment to poker in Latin America yesterday when it announced that it had signed retired Brazilian football superstar Ronaldo to wear the Red Spade. The announcement was made on the PokerStars LatAm blog.

Ronaldo is widely regarded as one of the greatest strikers in the history of the game. He scored 62 goals in 98 international appearances for the Brazilian national team, helping the team to World Cup titles in 1994 and 2002. He is the top scorer in World Cup history, was named FIFA Player of the Year three times in his career, and won the Golden Ball award (best player) and Golden Boot award (top scorer) in separate World Cup campaigns.

In short, he’s not just a footballing legend. He is a figure of almost cult-like worship for football-crazed Brazilians, a player whose greatness transcends national and cultural boundaries. He’s the type of person who has the capability to “move the needle” for PokerStars – within Brazil and the rest of South America – in a significant way.

Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari, a São Paulo resident and one of the more popular Team Pros, has long served as the face of PokerStars’ empire in Brazil. Yet even he could barely contain his excitement at the news of Ronaldo’s signing.

“Now it’s official: Ronaldo is the newest member of Team PokerStars!!!!!! Welcome boss @ClaroRonaldo!!!!!” he tweeted.

This is not Akkari’s first exposure to Ronaldo. Akkari is signed to Ronaldo’s PR agency, 9ine, and likely helped broker the deal between the footballer and the poker site.

Ronaldo is the second global sports superstar to be signed by PokerStars. Last year the site made waves by signing Spanish tennis sensation Rafa Nadal to the brand. Nadal has appeared in television commercials and print advertisements for PokerStars. He also plays on the site from time to time. It’s likely that PokerStars will employ a similar strategy with Ronaldo in Latin America.

With a population of almost 200 million, a strong middle class with significant disposable income, and a robust community of vocal, passionate poker players, Brazil continues to represent one of PokerStars’ best growth opportunities across the globe. Signing Ronaldo to represent the PokerStars brand underscores PokerStars’s commitment to remaining dominant in the Brazilian market.

The deal follows on the heels of PokerStars’ sponsorship last July of the Brazilian Series of Poker, a circuit of R$ 2200 (US $1100) poker tournaments around Brazil. At the time the BSOP was in the middle of its 7th season. It launched its 8th season in São Paulo this past January.

Although the BSOP has an event next week in Bahia, Ronaldo is not expected to make his live poker debut sporting the PokerStars logo until April 25, when the Latin American Poker Tour makes its Season 6 stop in São Paulo.


Leave a Comment



filter by

Dan Katz

29th February 2020 // Uncategorised

Is the Coronavirus a Threat to the 2020 WSOP?

This has been one hell of a week. The coronavirus (COVID-19) is picking up steam globally. World financial markets have...

Dan Katz

26th February 2020 // Uncategorised

Side Bets Available at PokerStars Poker Tables

Poker is gambling. We like to say that it is a game of skill – and it is – but it is also gambling. And that’s...

Dan Katz

17th February 2020 // News, Online Poker Action, Poker Tournaments

World Series of Poker Expands Online Bracelet Schedule to 14 Events

On Thursday, the World Series of Poker released the schedule for this summer’s online bracelet events, to be hosted...

Dan Katz

8th February 2020 // Gossip, News, Online Poker Action

Phil Galfond Down €750,000 to VeniVidi1993 in Galfond Challenge

Look, I don’t typically make a habit of feeling bad when people of means lose money, but oh man, I am starting to get...

Dan Katz

2nd February 2020 // News, Online Poker Action

PokerStars, partypoker Launching Dueling Bounty Tourney Series on Super Bowl Sunday

The year 2020 is already one-twelfth gone. It seems like just yesterday that Larry David was arguing that it was too...

Haley Hintze

31st January 2020 // Misc, News, Poker Tournaments

Coronavirus Outbreak Forces Postponement of Triton Jeju Series

The Triton Super High Roller Series scheduled for mid-Februry in Jeju, South Korea has become the first poker event...