PokerStars ambassador Neymar Jr. has just been rated as the most expensive soccer player in the world according to the CIES Football Observatory.
The 25-year-old Brazilian is coming off the back of another successful season with Barcelona FC during which he scored 20 goals from 45 games, but that’s not the only reason for his rating.
The CIES Football Observatory attempts to rank soccer players based on a range of factors in a bid to determine the overall value to a club.
Neymar Jr. Becomes a Crossover Star
In this instance, Neymar Jr.’s $243 million value is based on his skills on the pitch, his age, his employer and his marketability. The ability to court the attention of the world’s media and cross industry boundaries is something Neymar Jr. has done better than most in recent years and that’s helped his rating.
A case in point is his sponsorship deal with PokerStars. After demonstrating his love for poker by playing online and at events such as the European Poker Tour (EPT), Neymar Jr. agreed to represent PokerStars as a brand ambassador.
Using his 100 million+ strong social media following, as well as his ability to pique the interests of mainstream media outlets, Neymar Jr. has shown poker to a whole new audience. Moreover, as well as using his PokerStars partnership to take part in events such as the World Series of Poker (WSOP), the soccer star has been part of numerous poker-based charity events.
Earlier this year, the Neymar Jr. and PokerStars Charity Home Game saw pros and invited players compete in a special tournament in Spain.
Players were given a chance to take part in the tournament through a combination of satellites and video competitions during which they had to explain why they wanted to play with the Brazilian.
PokerStars Marketing Makes Neymar Jr. Attractive
As part of the tournament, Neymar Jr. also took on his friends in a $56,000 challenge with the money being split between his own charity and Right to Play. Beyond his charitable efforts, Neymar Jr. has appeared alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in PokerStars’ Raise It challenges.
The marketing campaign challenged sportspeople, celebrities and poker fans to show off their skills in a variety of sporting disciplines and get one up on the rest of the Raise It community. These kinds of promotional activities have clearly not only helped promote PokerStars, but made Neymar Jr. a more valuable player.
In fact, with Neymar Jr. coming in as the CIES Football Observatory’s most expensive player and fellow ambassador Ronaldo ranked 11th in the world rankings, the poker industry now has some hugely influential people working to promote it.