PokerStars Ramps Up UFC Partnership with Three Ambassador Additions
Table Of Contents
- Strengthening the Team
- More Muscle, Strong Combo
Back in December, the news dropped that online poker giant PokerStars was forging a new partnership with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. On Saturday, the UFC®‘s "official poker partner" further announced the addition of three new PokerStars Ambassadors in "The voice of the Octagon" Bruce Buffer, UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and No. 12 ranked light heavyweight Johnny Walker.
The announcement came in the birthplace of UFC®, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during a press conference following the weigh-ins ahead of the bout, UFC®237: NAMAJUNAS vs. ANDRADE. The event provided an opportunity for the two powerhouses to celebrate their new partnership, their first co-branded product , as well as look ahead to future products and promotions to come from the collaboration.
Knockout news! ## We’re excited to welcome @ufc legend @brucebuffer and Octagon fighters @dc_mma and… https://t.co/s4efXSQWHs
— PokerStars (@PokerStars)
Strengthening the Team
One of PokerStars’ most recognizable South American ambassadors did the honors of welcoming the new members to the team. “For me and for many Brazilians, poker and MMA are passions,” Andre Akkari said at the event. “To give poker fans opportunities to engage with the UFC and to give UFC fans more ways to engage with what they love is really exciting. It’s an honor to have such incredible athletes in our corner.”
The Stars Group took creative measures to build up to the announcement of the latest PokerStars representatives, including utilizing local art and artists in Rio to create statues and scenes out of sand sculptures. One such installation by renowned artist Jair Damasceno was on display at the Jeunesse Arena, where the press event and the fight were held last weekend. Standing two meters in height and depicting Anderson Silva and Johnny Walker playing poker, the sand sculpture was representative of the fusion of PokerStars and UFC.
“This partnership brings together two heavyweights of the entertainment world and, luckily for me, two of my great passions.”
Buffer is perhaps one of the best real-life embodiments of the natural connections between poker and UFC as a long-time poker player in addition to being an iconic figure as a UFC announcer, so it’s no surprise to see him joining the PokerStars ranks.
“This partnership brings together two heavyweights of the entertainment world and, luckily for me, two of my great passions,” said Buffer. “I’ve been a poker player all my life. I’m a regular at the tables in my hometown and I remember seeing Moneymaker’s legendary performance back in 2003 right before he became a member of team PokerStars. To join him alongside this great line-up of athletes and poker pros is a great honor for me.”
More Muscle, Strong Combo
Rounding out the new UFC faces of PokerStars, Brazil’s Johnny Walker and American reigning heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier are well-known in the world of Ultimate Fighting Championship and will undoubtedly serve as a bridge for fans from UFC to poker.
"Expect to see these major stars getting involved in promotions, events, campaigns, content and more.”
“I’m thrilled to represent PokerStars on their journey with the UFC," Walker said of his new ambassador post. "I love a challenge and any opportunity to sharpen my game." He continued: “PokerStars are the best at what they do. Just like the UFC. It makes sense to bring such world class acts together to offer more exciting opportunities to fans around the world.”
The UFC-PokerStars partnership is only in its infancy, and the global poker brand promises more excitement to come from the merging of the two forces.
“To have such exciting names joining team PokerStars further epitomises our partnership with UFC as we look to bring the thrill of the Octagon closer to our customers,” said Christopher Coyne, Chief Marketing Officer, Stars Interactive Group. “We are delighted that fans have really celebrated with us through our activity in the build-up to UFC 237 and we can’t wait to bring more new experiences to our fans as we develop our partnership with UFC. Expect to see these major stars getting involved in promotions, events, campaigns, content and more.”
The Stars Group owns a majority shareholding in iBus Media.
Photos courtesy of PokerStars.
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