PokerStars Considered Buying an NFL Team

PokerStars Considered Buying an NFL Team

Monday, 1 September 2014

Nolan Dalla has been around the poker industry for a number of years and in his latest blog post, he revealed that at one point, PokerStars almost bought an NFL football team.

Back when poker was booming and Dalla was working as PokerStars Director of Communications, the online behemoth toyed with the idea of investing in the New Orleans Saints.

Following the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina as well as a string of disappointing results both on and off the pitch, the team's owner, Tom Benson, considered selling his asset for $600 million.

At this point it was 2005 and PokerStars was yet to claim the number one spot on the list of virtual poker sites. With no TV shows, the EPT in its infancy and Daniel Negreanu yet to become a team pro, the site was looking for a way to boost its fortunes and reputation and the purchase of an NFL team seemed a way to satisfy both desires.

Dalla's role within the company at this point was to help come up with marketing ideas to help close the gap between PokerStars and PartyPoker (the largest site at the time) and with no idea being viewed as a "bad idea", he put together a plan to purchase the team.

While the main motive for purchasing the team was for publicity purposes, there was at least some sense of seriousness behind the move.

However, despite Isai Scheinberg liking the idea, the move never came to light as PokerStars was happy to remain in the "shadows" while "minting a fortune".

Tags: PokerStars, National Football League, NFL, New Orleans Saints, Nolan Dalla