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PokerStars Using Superstar Athletes as Centerpiece for Largest Ever Marketing Campaign

  • Chad HollowayChad Holloway
Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr. star in new PokerStars advertisements

  • PokerStars launches its largest advertising offensive

New players are the lifeblood of poker, and the world's largest online poker site, PokerStars, has certainly been pushing to reach new players. In California they're in the midst of their Let California Play! Tour but perhaps even more exciting is their recent utilization of sport stars to reach fans across the world.

This past weekend PokerStars launched a new advertising campaign on Facebook starring Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr, who both joined the Team Pro roster back in May and marked PokerStars’ largest sponsorships to date.

The new campaign saw the players’ Facebook fans — Ronaldo is Facebook’s most popular public figure with more than 104 million fans while Neymar Jr has more than 53 million Facebook fans — receive an exclusive preview of two commercials, which were being offered two weeks before they were set to air on television globally.

This is the biggest PokerStars marketing campaign in history.

"People come to Facebook to discover things that matter to them, whether it’s photos from their friends and family, videos from brands they love, or posts from their favourite celebrities," said Tarquin Henderson, Head of EMEA Gaming Sales at Facebook. "PokerStars’ campaign combines the best of this – fresh, engaging content from two of the biggest footballers on the planet. And thanks to Facebook’s scale and unparalleled targeting tools, these videos will reach the most relevant audience, from poker and gaming fans to football aficionados."

Michael Hazel, Interim CEO at the Rational Group added: "This is the biggest PokerStars marketing campaign in history and we are excited to launch with exclusive distribution on Facebook. Both videos show how each of the stars love the game of poker in their own unique way. The vast numbers of fans who engage with both stars make Facebook a great platform to reach a big audience. To put this into context the combined fan base for both superstars is a huge 157 million; the estimated global TV audience for the recent Champions League final was 180 million."

According to PokerStars, the athletes star in short videos produced by acclaimed commercial and music video director Vaughan Arnell and were shot on location in Madrid and Barcelona. Arnell has worked on TV commercials for brands including Levis and Dove, but is most famous for his collaborations with Robbie Williams and One Direction. Each video features poker as the centrepiece of the athletes’ evening with friends, and highlights the fun, social and competitive aspects of the game. Here's a look at both commercials:

The commercials will air on televisions across the world beginning on August 17, which will coincide with PokerStars' "Dream Team Collection" promotion, which offers players a chance to win various prizes plus a shot at $1,000,000 through a series of online poker challenges and puzzles that incorporate both Ronaldo and Neymar Jr.

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