PokerStars is the biggest online poker website and has a massive fan base in the world. The online poker giant continues to sign partnerships and make new deals in an effort to strengthen its global market presence and add new customers to its growing database.
PokerStars – UFC Partnership
PokerStars recently announced that it has entered into an agreement with the leading Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promotion Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in a deal that is expected to strengthen the brand image of both companies. This is the latest partnership in a string of sports-casino partnerships following the legalization of sports betting in several US states.
PokerStars will now become UFC’s first ever Official Poker Partner, which means the PokerStars logo will now be visible in the Octagon to fight fans moving forward.
UFC and PokerStars will unveil the first signs of the new marketing deal during the UFC 232: JONES vs. GUSTAFSSON 2 fight card which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 29 at the Forum in Inglewood, California. As part of the agreement, the online poker giant will be advertised via social media and digital channels, as well as through UFC telecasts. From December 29, the PokerStars signature red spade and white star logo will appear in the world-famous octagon.
Crossover Benefits
With UFC establishing itself as the world’s leading MMA promotion company and with PokerStars dominating the online poker scene, the partnership is expected to further boost both of the companies’ customer bases in key markets. PokerStars and UFC have one common goal – to thrill and entertain consumers through their products and high-quality customer service.
The opportunities are endless from the viewpoint of Team PokerStars member Jason Somerville, who is also a huge fan of MMA. As soon as the partnership agreement was announced, Somerville immediately took to Twitter to share his excitement. Turns out the poker pro once worked with the UFC via Ultimate Poker. Somerville is thrilled to be back in the MMA family.
The complete details as to what awaits poker players as part of the deal are yet to be revealed, but Somerville said they will be announced soon. The Team PokerStars pro is sure about one thing — both companies will benefit from content promotions as well as crossovers. A huge poker fan base exists in UFC, and there are also UFC fans in the poker community.
Several MMA fighters are also poker enthusiasts, including former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell and retired mixed martial artist Randy Couture. The deal will enable both companies to reach out to as many potential customers as possible around the world.
Extending the PokerStars Brand
UFC’s global programming distribution will also help extend the PokerStars brand to just over a billion households. UFC broadcasts in 40 different languages across 160 countries.  This is not the first time PokerStars reached out to the world of sports. It has previously signed sponsorship deals with some of the biggest names in sport, including soccer stars Neymar Jr and Cristiano Ronaldo.
PokerStars once dominated the Las Vegas online poker scene especially during the World Series of Poker, but it was blocked from the state in the wake of the infamous Black Friday in 2011. The online poker website has been finding it difficult to penetrate the state due to its past history despite Nevada legalizing online back since 2013.
The Rise of Casino-Sports Partnerships
A Supreme Court decision in May which overturned the ban on sports betting in America has paved the way states to push forward with sports betting legislation. This has resulted in the forging of partnerships between major sports league and casino operators.
Back in September, MGM Resorts International became the official gaming partner of the National Basketball Association (NBA). MGM also entered into similar agreements with the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball in October and November respectively.
During the start of the NFL season, and despite sports betting still not being legalized in the Oklahoma, the WinStar World Casino and Resorts partnered with the Dallas Cowboys – the league’s first ever team to sign a deal with a casino.
The New York Jets went on to ink a deal with MGM Resorts International. The Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore which is owned by Caesars also partnered with the Baltimore Ravens. Caesars secured a similar deal with the Oakland Raiders as the team prepares to transfer to Las Vegas in 2020. The deal is valid for 15 years.
PokerStars is now the latest gambling operator to move into the casino-sports betting sponsorship deal and will strong coverage during UFC232, as controversy has already erupted after Jon Jones was pulled up for having steroids in his system yet again.

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