Brazilian football legend Ronaldo has invested in South America eSports company CNB.
The two-time World Cup winner and former Real Madrid player has partnered with celebrity poker star André Akkari and chief executive of the Brazilian Series of Poker, Igor Trafane Federal, to jointly acquire 50% of the team.
“ESports are a global trend and, in Brazil are a fever,” Ronaldo said, on his Facebook page. “As athletes, we find in CNB ideals that have everything to do with ours, and we will transfer to eSports the adrenaline of soccer games on the field, as well as poker tables.”
The deal has been in discussion since August last year, and the contract was finally signed this week in Rio de Janeiro.
Having a big name Ronaldo Luis Nazário de Lima on board will serve as a boost for the marketing and commercial opportunities around the team, but the three-time world player of the year has more to offer than his name alone.
In 2013 Ronaldo undertook a job placement at WPP where he worked closely with the group’s chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell. The partnership saw Ronaldo and Sorrell work together on the WPP-owned 9ine Sports & Entertainment.
ESports’ popularity has exploded recently and seen huge investment from broadcasters and European football teams. The French league has significantly committed to industry after launching its own Fifa gaming league last year.