Usain Bolt Named the Newest Brand Ambassador for PokerStars
The world’s largest online poker operator, PokerStars, has announced that the Jamaican sprint legend, Usain Bolt, has joined the online poker giant as their newest brand ambassador.
The world’s fastest sprinter is set to retire from professional competition this year in the summer. After this, he is expected to turn his attention towards promoting the company and the game to fans all over the world. Bolt will be joined by the popular American comedian, Kevin Hart. Both of whom are going to promote PokerStars and the world of online poker to an international audience. Hart also joined as an ambassador for the company earlier this year in the month of May.
Usain St Leo Bolt
Usain St Leo Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter, who holds the world record for both the 100 meter and 200 meter races. He has won eight Olympic gold medals during his professional career till date. Bolt gained worldwide popularity when he broke the world records for both the Olympic 100 and 200 meter races at the 2008 Beijing games. He went on to collect the gold medal for those two events at the next two Olympics games as well. This was on top of the gold medals he had won for the 4 x 100 meter relay races. Unfortunately nine years after being awarded one of the gold medals for his efforts in the 4 x100 meter race, him along with his other teammates lost their medals and titles for Nesta Carter, the fourth team mate’s doping offences.
His achievements as a sprinter have earned him the media nickname Lightning Bolt. It has also earned him his long list of awards, which include the IAAF World Athlete of the Year Award, The Track & Field Athlete of the Year Award, and The Laureus World Sportsman of the year on four different occasions.
Bolt has stated that he intends to retire from athletics after the 2017 World Championship competition, which fits nicely with his plans with PokerStars.
Comments on the Partnership
Bolt commented on his PokerStars partnership ahead of his final race on the 10th of June this year, in his home country. He said that he was pleased to join Hart in their promotional efforts for the company and the game, which are to start later this year.
Bolt said, “PokerStars is a winner and I’m happy to join Kevin in helping to bring poker and PokerStars to the masses.”
He also added that the game of poker was a fun social activity and he is looking forward to introducing it to his fans.
Bolt said, “It’s a challenging game that’s fun, social and competitive so I’m pleased to be able to introduce it to my fans and to people around the world.”
Eric Hollreiser, the Vice President of Corporate Communications at PokerStars mentioned that the partnership between PokerStars and Bolt will see the Olympic athlete featured in a number of marketing campaigns for the operator. He added that this will be alongside live appearances by the star, which are to be geared towards introducing poker to newer audiences.
Hollreiser said that Bolt is both a highly competitive athlete and a greatly adored celebrity with a large global fan following. Having him represent the company will ensure a quick and fun way to introduce online poker and PokerStars to many new players from all over the world.
He said, “Usain Bolt is a fierce competitor who pushes his game to the limits but he’s also one of the most- liked athletes in the world. His strong global following and winning personality will help us to introduce poker in a fun, social and fast way.”
Shares in PokerStars parent Amaya Inc. (TSA: AYA) closed in Toronto on Thursday, the 8th of June 2017 up 0.76 per cent at CAD $23.92 per share.
Amaya Inc., the Canadian gaming and online gambling corporation, was founded in 2004. Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, the company trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: AYA). In June 2014, they acquired the parent company for PokerStars and Full Tilt – Rational Group, from Isai and Mark Scheinberg for USD $4.9 billion. With this, Amaya became the largest publicly listed online gambling company in the world.
Before that, Amaya primarily provided business to business (B2B) gaming solutions, products and services to other operators. This included the design, development, manufacturing, distribution, sale and service of technology based gaming solutions for the regulated gaming and interactive entertainment industries worldwide. They supplied mainly to land- based and online gaming operators; as well as governmental agencies and ultimately indirectly to end- users and consumers.
Amaya also offers gaming products and services that include online casino, poker, sportsbook, platform, lotteries and slot machines software. The company has offices in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. They are continuously developing their proprietary platforms and have invested significantly in their technological infrastructure. All of this was done to ensure a positive experience for their customers.
PokerStars is the largest online poker cardroom in the world. It suffered a federal shutdown, along with several other sites of similar nature on the 15th of April 2011. This was allegedly for violating federal bank fraud and money laundering laws. After a year- long legal battle, the charges were dropped on the 31st of July 2012. After further investigation, in October 2015, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) also granted Amaya Inc. approval to launch both PokerStars and FullTilt in New Jersey.
In August 2014, Amaya Inc. acquired Rational Group Ltd. Since the acquisition, Amaya has been gunning for both the brands to go live in New Jersey. Finally, to the delight of fans everywhere, PokerStars went live in New Jersey on the 21st of March 2016. The company has done well over the course of the last years and seems to be focused on a European and global expansion plan at this moment in time.