PokerStars Makes Mainstream Push by Signing Bollywood Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui (VIDEO)

March 6th, 2019 | by Jason Reynolds

As Partypoker moves in one direction, PokerStars is moving in another thanks to the signing of Bollywood star, Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

PokerStars signs Nawazuddin Siddiqui

PokerStars.IN has signed Bollywood star Nawazuddin Siddiqui in attempt to attract a more mainstream demographic. (Image: Youth Incorporated)

Part of the operator’s push to dominate India’s emerging online poker market, the latest recruit will help it reach a wider demographic.

Announced on March 1, the collaboration will see the actor become an official brand ambassador and represent PokerStars online and offline.

Siddiqui to Expose Casual Consumer to Poker

To kick off the partnership, Siddiqui star in three commercials (see one below). Each of the scenarios asks the audience whether the star is bluffing or not.

Along with Siddiqui’s 2.58 million Twitter followers, PokerStars is asking viewers to vote online for the chance to win prizes.

Since going live in India back in April 2017, PokerStars has built up its reputation by hosting marquee MTTs with record-setting guarantees. However, to embrace the local ethos of poker being a game of skill, the partnership with Siddiqui is being cast in that light.

Commenting on the deal, Ankur Dewani, CEO of PokerStars’ Indian gaming partner Sachiko Gaming, said that Siddiqui is both a popular figure and the embodiment of a true poker player.

“Nawaz is one of the most engaging and popular personalities in Bollywood who has shown great resilience, determination and skill to get to where he is today. These are all key attributes belonging to poker players,” Dewani said on March 1.

What’s interesting about the decision to use an actor is how it contrasts with Partypoker’s latest moves.

PokerStars Continues to Evolve

While PokerStars is taking aim at casual players with mainstream celebrities, its main rival is hoping to attract experienced players.

After announcing the formation of Team Online, Partypoker has signed a slew of recognizable pros, including Jeff Gross.

Although India is a unique in terms of age, size and regulations, the contrast in marketing styles is one that’s common across all markets. While both operators remain open to all, there has been a recent shift in ideals.

Where PokerStars was one the home of the pros, its PR team is now putting more stock into the mainstream market. In contrast, Partypoker has narrowed its focus slightly in an attempt to offer more value for pros.

As the two top operators continue to fight for supremacy, it will be interesting to see how that affects future signings at PokerStars and Partypoker.


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