The online poker brand PokerStars has launched an Internet marketing campaign via the social media platform Facebook, using two of the gaming operator’s soccer star brand ambassadors. It says the celebrities – Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured) and Brazil’s Neymar Jr – have a combined following on Facebook of at least 157 million fans.
Two promotional videos – one featuring Real Madrid player Ronaldo and one featuring Barcelona’s Neymar Jr – were uploaded to their respective Facebook pages so that Ronaldo’s estimated 104 million followers and Neymar Jr’s estimated 53 million fans could get what the brand describes as an “exclusive” preview two weeks before the commercials air for the first time on television across the world.
“This is the biggest PokerStars marketing campaign in history and we are excited to launch with exclusive distribution on Facebook,” said Michael Hazel, the interim chief executive at the Rational Group, which operates gaming-related businesses and brands, including PokerStars, the online poker brand Full Tilt and the European Poker Tour. Rational Group is owned by Canadian firm Amaya Inc.
As of Tuesday morning, Cristiano Ronaldo’s PokerStars video had been viewed 1,128,001 times on his Facebook page, while Neymar Jr’s had been watched 776,743 times on his Facebook page.
PokerStars had said in separate announcements in May that it had signed first Neymar Jr and then Cristiano Ronaldo as online ambassadors.
The Amaya group announced in June 2014 it was acquiring PokerStars in a US$4.9-billion leveraged deal.
In late December, Melco Crown (Philippines) Entertainment Corp said it had opened a PokerStars-branded poker room at the City of Dreams Manila casino resort.
The original City of Dreams – located on Cotai in Macau and operated by Melco Crown Philippines’ parent Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd – also works with PokerStars, via a room branded as ‘PokerStars LIVE at the City of Dreams’.
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”China has been strengthening the control over capital flow, and the impact of that has already been reflected [on Macau’s gaming revenue trend]. There should not be any bigger impact from the new… legislation [on the mainland] … on the gaming revenue trend here”
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President of Macau casino operator Sands China