Andre Akkari Inks Puma Sponsorship DealSeptember 13, 2016 11:17 am
Brazilian poker pro Andre Akkari has just signed a sponsorship deal with the sportswear brand Puma, with the endorsement arrangement establishing a major connection between the worlds of poker and sports. While in other parts of the world, poker has difficulty attracting mainstream sponsors, in Brazil the game is accepted as a mind sport, thus paving the way for major sports companies such as Puma to add professional players to their sponsorship rosters.
In his home country of 200 million people, the 41 year-old pro is haled as somewhat of a superstar, with many fans of the game in admiration of what they perceive to be his glamorous lifestyle. For more than a decade, Akkari has been plying his trade as a professional cards player, and in the live arena has notched up $1,540,164 in earnings, including winning the 2011 WSOP $1,500 NLHE event for $675,117.
In addition to playing in live tournaments, Andre Akkari also has a sponsorship arrangement in place with the world’s biggest online poker room, PokerStars, and throughout his career has amassed an impressive $3,298,185 on the site playing under the screen name aakkari.
In fact, the member of Team PokerStars Pro is held in such high regard in Brazil that he was selected to be an Olympic torch holder at the Rio 2016 Olympics, a duty he carried out together with such stars as supermodel Adriana Lima, and 1958 and 1962 World Cup Winner Mário Zagallo.
Following his sponsorship deal with Puma, Andre Akkari expressed his delight on Instagram, stating:
“I am really happy to announce my new sponsor, welcome to the incredible poker world @puma ! Estou super feliz de anunciar meu novo patrocinador, bem vindo ao incrível mundo do poker @puma”
He now joins an elite group of high-profile celebrities who also endorse the company, including nine-time Olympic gold medallist, Usain Bolt, as well as stars from the music world, including Rihanna, and Joel Thomas Zimmerman ‘deadmau5’.