PokerStars to change the paceTuesday, Jun 27, 2017 14:23
The Biggest Signing of the Summer!
It was revealed over the weekend that PokerStars, by far the number one online poker room in the industry and a major player in online casino gaming, had signed Olympic and world champion sprinter Usain Bolt to a sponsorship deal with the site. Bolt was the one announcing the deal during a social media chat session with another recent PokerStars signee, comedian/actor Kevin Hart. In the discussion, Bolt stated that “PokerStars is a winner and I’m happy to join Kevin in helping to bring poker and PokerStars to the masses. 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.”
A Role of Mystery
Just what Bolt will be doing isn’t exactly known, other than, like Hart, he will be involved with marketing campaigns and live appearances that are “geared towards introducing new audiences to poker,” according to Eric Hollreiser, the Vice President of Corporate Communications with PokerStars. “Usain is a fierce competitor who pushes his game to the limits,” Hollreiser said. “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.”
Can Bolt put his feet up?
Bolt has been moving off into the retirement zone from international track and field. He has mentioned that he has no interest in competing in Tokyo in 2020 and has begun a “retirement tour.” Racing in what was an exhibition for all purposes over the weekend, Bolt, at the ripe age of 30, still ran the 100m in 10.03 seconds. He will wrap up the “retirement tour” at this summer’s World Championships in London. Poker seems to be a nice way to approach retirement and, with PokerStars, Bolt seems to be ready.
Earlier this year the company signed Hart to a promotional deal where Hart indicated he wanted to “make poker fun again.” While picking up Hart and Bolt, PokerStars hasn’t signed a significant poker professional to the roster in quite a while. Although they feature 18 players as “Team PokerStars Pros” and another seven as “Online Pros,” this is very different from what has been done in the past.
Whether Bolt will draw more people than a Fedor Holz or Rainer Kempe remains to be seen, though. There are no announcements of when Bolt will make his first appearance in either advertising or on the tables, but it is sure to capture at least a bit of attention when it does happen. As to his poker playing? We’ll have to see about that also…