PokerStars and (Almost) Serious Proposal to Buy NFL New Orleans Saints5 years ago
Nolan Dalla is easily one of the most colorful characters of the poker (and otherwise) journalism. His columns and articles on variety of topics are always filled with just the right amount of humor, facts and reasoned opinions, making them a good read for both avid poker fans and casual readers with just marginal interest in poker.
One of his recent articles touches on a very interesting subject. Back in the day, when Poker Stars were not the number one in the world of online poker and when they were still struggling to win the battle against the companies like Party Poker, the company was always actively seeking an edge that would put them ahead of the competition.
This was back in 2006, and it was Nolan who came up with a great idea that Poker Stars should present an offer to buy NFL New Orleans Saints, the team that found themselves facing number of issues, from the streak of bad seasons to the fact they were forced to play all of their home games away due to severe damage to the Superdome. The estimated value of the team was, at that time, $600 million.
When I first heard the Saints were for sale, I discussed the prospect of PokerStars tendering an offer to buy the team with some of my closest colleagues within the company. This wasn’t about business, something I knew nothing whatsoever about. It was about generating publicity (at no cost). Nolan Dalla, www.nolandalla.com;
The idea itself was quite brilliant. As Dalla further explains, the odds of this offer being accepted were very low, given NFL’s adversity towards gambling and the fact Poker Stars was an offshore company. But it was an opportunity to get out there and do something no one else was doing in the industry.If all this sounds manipulative, it wasn’t. It was very real. I mean, a cash offer would actually be on the table for the taking. Who knows — with some creative organization and structuring, anything might happen. Nolan Dalla;
The whole ploy may seem as nothing more but a manipulation, especially considering the fact the company would go public with a statement reassuring fans that they would guarantee the team never has to leave New Orleans, but the actual offer would have to be made and there was always an off chance that it would be accepted.
Although founder of Poker Stars Isai Scheinberg originally liked the idea, he decided not to go through with it after all. Was it because of what would happen if their offer was accepted or because he preferred for the company to stay somewhat low profile remains uncertain.
What would be the effects of this purchase had it ever come to pass also remains an enigma. Perhaps the entire picture of the online poker world could have been different had the company made so strong ties on the American soil. Everything could have been different – or not. It is really a wild guess, a dream that we may dream about different reality that could have never been.
But, had the Stars actually made the purchase and if things have gone the way they have for the Saints, the company would actually make money, concludes Dalla, as the team’s estimated value today is almost $1.2 billion!
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