Rafael Nadal joined up with Team PokerStars earlier this year, teaming up with Juan Manuel Pastor Ana Marquez and Poli Rincon on the PokerStars team. Nadal had just finished winning the French Open for his 11th major title. The French Open seems to favor the young Spaniard as he has won the championship there seven out of the last eight years. He now has over $50 million in on-court earnings. Nadal endorses other companies including Kia, Nike, Lanvin and Armani. Joining PokerStars should work out well for both Nadal and the largest online poker site in the world.
Nadal is a competitor- it doesn’t matter what sport, he tries to excel at everything he does. He was formerly the number one ranked tennis player in the world and is currently ranked number two. Of joining PokerStars, Nadal said he did so “because they understand what it takes to be the best and associate themselves with the qualities of champions.”
The signing of such a nationally known athlete should help PokerStars in the online poker market in Spain as the country just passed regulations allowing the online use of poker earlier this year. Nadal’s success on the tennis court can help PokerStars as he has a huge following in Spain. It also helps people see the online poker gaming industry in a positive view- most nationally known celebrities are very picky about the companies they endorse and won’t endorse them unless they actually like, or are interested in, what they are promoting. This is exactly the case here as Nadal has expressed an extreme interest in the world of online poker gaming, even posting online that he hopes some experienced poker players will help him learn the game so he can compete in it.
One way the PokerStars endorsement will help Nadal, besides the monetary reasons, is that he is now associated with another highly competitive game, something else he can strive to win at and compete at a high level.
The PokerStars Chairman of the Board, Mark Sheinberg, said that Nadal “represents all that is great about competition – the mix of talent, intellect, dedication and mental strength that you find in champions in every sport. We are proud to have Rafa as an ambassador for the brand and excited at the opportunity to help him enjoy and improve his game.”
Rafael Nadal is not the first professional tennis player to join PokerStars. Boris Becker joined Team SportStars in 2007, a team that also features skier Marcus Hellner and hockey star Fatima Moreira de Melo.
Watch for great happenings from Team PokerStars and their newest member- Rafael Nadal. You just very well may see his name at the top of the leaderboard at an online tournament sometime soon.