September 30, 2016
Online poker giant PokerStars has signed on as lead sponsor of the fledgling Global Poker League (GPL).
On Friday, online poker’s 800 lb. gorilla announced that it had struck a deal with Malta-based Mediarex Sports & Entertainment to become the GPL’s lead sponsor. The deal also cock blocks other poker operators, as Stars’ contract specifies that it is the exclusive online poker sponsor of the GPL. (Take that, Ongame!)
PokerStars’ publicity pointman Eric Hollreiser said the GPL “brings an innovative team-based twist to poker and we are happy to support Mediarex in their quest to bring poker to new audiences.”
Alex Dreyfus, CEO of and brainchild behind the GPL, called the Stars partnership “a crucial step forward on the road to fully establishing the GPL as a real blueprint for poker entertainment in the future.” Dreyfus said Stars would assist the GPL in its strategy of “connecting poker to the mainstream entertainment sector on a large scale.”
As part of the deal, PokerStars’ red spade logo will now adorn The Cube, the GPL’s signature arena in which 12 teams from around the globe do battle. The GPL action recommences on Oct. 4 and PokerStars TV will carry live stream action each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Stars will also work with Mediarex on various promotional initiatives to boost awareness of the GPL. A number of Team PokerStars Pros participate in the GPL, including Liv Boeree, Vanessa Selbst, Jason Mercier and Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier.
PokerStars and Mediarex already have a working relationship, as Stars sponsored this year’s American Poker Awards and European Poker Awards shindigs, both of which were produced by Mediarex.