Amaya Inc.’s press release last Wednesday indicates the Asian market as the current focus of the company’s growth strategies for 2015. After all, many of those operating in the online poker industry believes that Asian countries such as Japan and China are fast emerging as potential target growth, since Western-style poker is still a novel game in most Asian nations.
New Sponsorship Deals for Japanese PokerStars Brand Ambassadors
The first in the list of Amaya’s growth strategies are the sponsorship agreements signed with prominent Japanese personalities. Yuiko Matsukawa, a popular Japanese model and actress joins Online Poker Pro Kosei Ichinoise and Japan’s first WOSP bracelet winner Naoya Kihara, as members of Team PokerStars.
The sponsorship agreement already saw Ms. Matsukawa competing in the Macau Poker Cup at PokerStars LIVE, as PokerStars brand ambassador in the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT).
The contracts signed with Ichinose and Kihara is regarded as significant, as it comes at a time when PokerStars did not extend offers of sponsorship contract renewal to some poker pros based in other parts of the globe. Amaya Inc. gave affirmation of its commitment to provide its support for the growth of poker in China and Japan through the PokerStars business-to-customer (B2C) poker brand.
Sponsorship of the APPT 2015 Nanjing Millions
Another PokerStars initiative in the offing is the 2015 Nanjing Millions, a new poker tournament festival run by the Beijing Star Poker Club that will take place on April 14 to 19, 2015 in the Nanjing Youth Olympic Sports Centre, in the province of Jiangsu, People’s Republic of China. The 2015 Nanjing Millions is one of the scheduled tournaments of the PokerStars-sponsored Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Season 9, and sanctioned by the Jiangsu Provincial Chess Sports Association.
The holding of the APPT Nanjing tournament at the 62-000 seat Olympic stadium will give a great number of Chinese poker enthusiasts, excellent opportunity to test their poker prowess while vying for a share of the CN¥1 Million Guaranteed prize pool.
APPT President Danny McDonagh said that the growth of poker in China has been remarkable, which inspires them to remain committed in supporting poker sport throughout the region. He commented that Nanjing is a key position in the Chinese region, posing as an ideal location that would allow players coming from all over China to participate. The APPT President added that the two previous Beijing events held last year were successes, which make them proud to be a part of events supported by the Chinese government.
The PokerStars-sponsored APPT Season 9 has big money events scheduled to take place in various destinations throughout the Asian region. It kicked off via the PokerStars Aussie Millions last January, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.
This was followed by the ANZPT 7 tournament in Perth, Australia and the Macau Poker Cup 22 in February 2015, while the ANZPT 7 Sydney launched this March 2015. Scheduled to take place in the coming months ahead are the APPT 9:Seoul, the Nanjing Millions, APPT Macau, APPT Manila, the Macau Poker Cup 23, the ANZPT 7: Melbourne; finally culminating in the 2015 Asia Championship of Poker Event in Macau from Oct. 30 to Nov. 15, 2015.