PokerStars Makes Neymar Its New Cultural Ambassador

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Brazilian soccer star Neymar has extended his sponsorship deal with PokerStars, but this time, his role will be slightly different.

Neymar Jr
Neymar will help PokerStars open new doors as its first Cultural Ambassador. (Image: PokerStars)

According to a Wednesday press release, Neymar has stepped into the role of “Cultural Ambassador” for PokerStars.

The role has been created specifically for the sporting icon and will see him collaborate with his poker partner on a variety of “creative projects.”

Neymar to indulge his passions

Martin Nieri, Global Director of Brand and Creative at PokerStars, describes the initiative as a “merging of two worlds.” He believes that Neymar’s passion for poker and culture marks the “start of something exciting” for PokerStars.

Neymar has been working with PokerStars since 2015. During that time, he’s developed a love for poker that’s seen him receive coaching from top pros, play online, and compete in major live events.

However, his tenure hasn’t been without its issues. As well as being removed from ad campaigns in the UK because he was too young, the soccer star faced a $48 million tax issue in his native Brazil.

The partnership has survived these bumps and now, Neymar will serve as PokerStars’ first Cultural Ambassador. But what exactly does that mean?

At this stage, it’s not totally clear, though we do know there will be collaborations in “a number of key areas.” The first key area is a Golden Chip giveaway with $1 million in cash prizes.

Neymar has also recorded a new commercial (see video above), but what about the cultural crossovers? Well, a new Neymar X PokerStars website will act as a hub for the pair’s projects.

PokerStars tapping into new demographics

One initiative that does break from the norm is a Spotify playlist. Neymar hit some sour notes back in 2016 when he released his own music video. That tune isn’t on the PokerStars/Neymar playlist.

The “ultimate soundtrack” for poker players will, however, lead to more as yet undefined projects across various social media platforms.

Appointing a Cultural Ambassador appears to be another play for the casual market. A Spotify playlist may not appeal directly to poker players, but it gives PokerStars a presence on a platform with 345 million users.

This isn’t the first time PokerStars has tapped into the world of pop culture. It worked with popular YouTubers KSI and the Sidemen in 2020, and it still works with True Geordie.

However, we could see Neymar take the poker operator in some new directions. From music to art, movies, and more, this is a chance for PokerStars to open doors that may previously have been locked.

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