The power of advertising is well-known around the world, and online poker is no different as companies look to use famous faces to bring attention and alter attitudes towards the product. It leads to an interesting situation for those who are looking to get into the game. You could follow the experts and look at these poker sites recommended by TimesUnion.com, or you can follow who has the money to get the star names on board.
Online poker brands are just like every other company, if they can lean on celebrity endorsement it can help convince potential customers to buy into their brand. We assess some of the contemporary celebrity and poker partnerships and what they offer.
Neymar Jr and PokerStars
This deal might have started some time ago but has gone from strength to strength as Neymar Jr becomes increasingly visible on PokerStars branding. The Brazilian is paid to bring his worldwide soccer appeal and his fans onto the platform. He is especially important to the Brazilian demographic as the country is one of the biggest markets for online poker, his presence is there to ensure that Brazilian poker players go to PokerStars and nowhere else.
The exact amount of what he is paid seems to be withheld as private information, however, it’s widely known to be a seven-figure sum. Furthermore, he’ll be granted automatic entry to some tournaments – some of which he will be contractually obliged to participate in.
Conor McGregor and Me88
Despite making his name in the octagon and the combat sports world, Conor McGregor is an avid poker player in his free time. He’s often worked with PokerStars (in less formal agreements) but has licensed his imagery to be the face of Me88, a Malaysian online casino operator in which punters are encouraged to bet with Conor.
The Irishman claimed in 2021 that he made the majority of his millions from outside the octagon. His income during his UFC career apparently stood at around $22 million from the fight, however, he had amassed over $150 million from ‘everything else’. There’s no doubt that he and his team are shrewd businessmen and will have crafted another great deal for him to boost his bank balance again. He may even fight in Malaysia as part of a future deal if the whispers are to be believed.
Till Lindemann and GGPoker
Fan of Rammstein? You’ll know all about the German heavy metal superstar’s dramatic antics. Till Lindemann loves to perform and play the role of multiple characters throughout his band’s performances. Therefore when GGPoker’s German site cast him in multiple roles for their new advertisement in 2023, he jumped at the chance. Lindermann’s efforts show him playing different poker players each with a different strategy to win the game,
While it’s definitely intended for German-speaking audiences, there are plenty of translations available on the web for the wider heavy metal community to see one of their own actions in this commercial.
David Warner and Adda52.com
Cricket doesn’t make men much better than Australia’s David Warner. The former Australian captain has won accolades, trophies, and honor after honor on the pitch. Yet, how does he stack up in Poker? Well given he’s played for both the Delhi Daredevils and the Sunrisers Hyderabad he’s very well known for his exploits in the Indian Premier League.
In 2023 he teamed up with Adda52.com, one of the more prominent online poker sites in India to participate in their ‘Poker Night with Stars’ promotion. Players making a deposit into this specific tournament had the chance to play directly with him on a poker table and play for a luxury grand prize pot.
Shahid Kapoor and multiple Indian Poker Sites
Hindi-language movie stars don’t come much bigger than the contemporary Shahid Kapoor. The 42-year-old has been a part of the Indian silver screen since 1997 and has been ever-present since. Owing to his enormous popularity, he’s been approached by almost every company in India as they’d like to have him collaborate with their brand.
Kapoor however has come under fire for working with a mixture of different sites, some of which might not be operating within the Indian law. While he has worked with plenty of companies that are above board, there’s conjecture that some are offshore companies. Kapoor’s reputation will probably be saved however due to the lack of clarity surrounding online gambling in India, as it can vary from state to state.
Nicki Minaj and MaximBet
Ok, this one is a bit of a trainwreck but still interesting enough. In early 2022, the Trinidadian rapper and pop star announced that she would be investing in MaximBet. As of June 2022, she had reportedly paid $25 million to become one of the significant shareholders of the firm. The idea was that she would help Maxim expand the sports betting arm of the business with her popularity and as a stakeholder, she’d end up with lots of money down the line.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. In November 2022, MaximBet announced that it would cease trading as the business turned out to be economically unwise to continue operating. While MaximBet wasn’t exclusively a poker operator, Minaj has often been photographed playing poker or even using a casino setting for her music videos. Maybe she should have pushed it more.