The world’s leading online poker website PokerStars is now working on multiple fronts to engage recreational poker players and attract them to their website. The company has been tweaking its rules and software to make the game more approachable and interesting to casual players and is in the process of launching new marketing campaigns to attract their attention.
As a part of its efforts to raise interest in the game, the company recently launched a social media campaign called #raiseit, featuring top soccer stars like Neymar Jr and Ronaldo Nazario. Adopting the #raiseit phrase which is traditionally used in poker as a rallying point in the campaign, the Brazilian football stars are encouraging their fans to issue challenges in sports, tricks or games.
The footballers are part of the PokerStars SportStars , a team of poker-playing athletes who are ambassadors for the site. So far two videos have been launched by the stars on their Facebook pages, which have received over 19 million views, 100,000 shares and more than 1.1 million likes.
In a statement, Simon Tilbury, Associate Director of Advertising for PokerStars, said
The #raiseit campaign encourages individuals to up the stakes by outsmarting a friend, a hero, or even a stranger. With #raiseit Neymar Jr and Ronaldo are essentially playing poker, but without the chips and cards. We’re used to seeing poker players #raiseit on the felt, but the essence can be applied to any scenario or talent.
According to Tilbury, poker skills apply to several facets of life since achieving any goal involves patience, determination, courage and focus.
In the first video, Neymar Jr. makes a tough shot into the boot of a parked car while in the second Ronaldo Nazario raises it by shooting a football into the boot of a moving car. Tilbury stated that they were delighted to see the rising popularity of the videos and hoped to see the hashtag continue to trend.
Speaking on the new marketing campaign, Neymar Jr said that it was an adrenaline rush to challenge others and equally satisfying to set challenges for oneself. He said that the #raiseit campaign pushed individual boundaries and can help one hone their skills. Neymar said that he was happy to encourage people to do exciting things and added that he was looking forward to see what others on internet would do in response.
Other stars like top Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia and poker pro Jason Mercier have taken up the challenge and posted videos for the campaign. Numerous other stars from both poker and sports have also joined the campaign and have posted videos.