A few weeks after tying the Premier League’s single-season scoring record, Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez may be on the verge of setting another record: the shortest-ever sponsorship of an international soccer star.
During the course of Uruguay’s victory against Italy Tuesday, Suarez appeared to bite Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder. If confirmed — and there doesn’t appear to be much doubt — it would be the third time Suarez has used his teeth on an opponent, all but ensuring a harsh response from FIFA, the governing body world soccer.
The incident comes just five weeks after the online gaming site 888 Poker announced it had signed Suarez, whose $75 million contract with Liverpool makes him one of the world’s highest-paid soccer players, to be a “Worldwide Ambassador.”
Suarez’s page on 888poker.com features a Twitter module, which at the moment showcases a stream of Tweets urging the company to drop him:
— Graham Banzer (@grez868) June 24, 2014
Suarez is sponsored by 888 poker … More like ate, ate , ate #threecoursemeal
— mattjwlowe (@mattjwlowe) June 24, 2014
— James Vast (@JamesVast) June 24, 2014
And so on.
I’ve reached out to representatives of 888 Holdings PLC, the publicly traded parent company of 888 Poker, to ask if the company intends to continue its relationship with Suarez. I’ll update this post if I hear back.
Suarez is also one of a number of top soccer stars to appear in this commercial for Beats headphones, a shorter version of which is on heavy rotation during World Cup broadcasts.