The world of sports is an every changing one. It was not so long ago that it was all but expected that alcoholic beverage brands or electronics companies would sponsor sports teams. It was an accepted situation, almost as if the two had always belonged together. In fact, when the Premier League first kicked off back in the early 1990's, six of the sponsors where consumer electronics and four were beer brands. This trend kept on, right up until the early 2000's.
But then a change occurred. BetFair made its first appearance on the shirts of Fulham. So uncommon was it for any other brand but electronics or beer to be seen on shirts, that most thought the situation a bit humorous, as if some sort of imposter had hijacked the player’s shirts. Of course, today, the English team’s Bet365 branding or West Ham United’s Betway Casino branding would not even warrant a second glance, given that the majority of wearable advertising space is now dedicated to online sports books or casinos.
In fact, some individual sports stars have even become the face of casino brands, taking marketing to a whole new level.
Usain Bolt – PokerStars
Usain Bolt is a sports star
that has a very convenient name, given that he is officially the fastest man alive. Incredibly, this unbelievable man holds the records for the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4 times 100-meter relay, which just about says it all. If you think of fast athletes, Bolt is the name that probably comes to mind. He has sadly officially retired from being very fast, but didn’t let it keep him from succeeding elsewhere. Bolt also happens to be a very charismatic man, and so agreed to be the face of PokerStars.
PokerStars, which went online in 2011, is the largest online poker website globally, and widely respected as being regularly visited by professional poker players. Upon signing up Usain Bolt, he had his likeness inserted into Zoom Poker on the website under the official name Mister Lightening Bolt. Who says being fast can’t also make you a poker celebrity?
Usain Bolt trades sprinting for Poker
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – BetHard
His name may be difficult to pronounce, but his skills on the football field are far easier to understand. After making a move to the United States, it wasn’t long before Ibrahimovic put his interesting name up next to the popular online bookmaker and casino brand BetHard
. The move was not without a bit of controversy in Sweden, but the deal was certainly a lucrative one for the football champion.
Mike Tyson – Inspired Gaming
There is no talking about boxing without mentioning the legend that is Mike Tyson. Although now long retired from the boxing world, though with his reputation as having fists of fury still intact, Tyson has now turned his attention to the world of online casino games. A 15-year deal was struck between Tyson and Inspired Games. The result? An online slots game titled Mike Tyson Knockout, featuring the likeness of the boxing champ at his peak. The game is, of course, renowned for its outstanding quality and graphics, all of which do the boxing champ justice.
Cristiano Ronaldo – PokerStars
Last but not least, we once again see PokerStars playing with celebrity faces. Although already having signed Usain Bolt, they really went all out in getting Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the biggest names in football, on their team. There is no word on exactly what deal was struck, but given that Ronaldo commands an insane 100 million Facebook fans, and 30 million Twitter followers, a single promotional post on his account is likely valued at an amount that the rest of us only dream of!
Ronaldo joins the PokerStars team