M88, Steven Gerrard Sign Partnership Deal for 2022 Qatar World Cup

  • Gerrard will be depicted on M88 advertising during the World Cup
  • Companies have been stockpiling sponsors ahead of the big event
  • Other celebrity ambassadors received criticism for deals in Qatar
  • Gerrard was rumored to be scouting the job as England manager
David Gerrard
Steven Gerrard will partner Asian gaming company M88 at the upcoming World Cup. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Boarding the plane to Qatar

Retired Liverpool and England midfielder Steven Gerrard is partnering with Asian gaming platform M88 ahead of the Qatar World Cup, which starts in six days.

“I am delighted to join M88 Mansion as their Brand Ambassador for the World Cup,” said Gerrard. “I couldn’t be more excited to share my experiences from my time on the field, especially my views and opinion to the Asian sports fans regarding the upcoming World Cup.”

will attend in-person and online promotional events in the area

M88 will use Gerrard’s image for promotional purposes across the competition, while he will attend in-person and online promotional events in the area. Gerrard last appeared at the World Cup in 2014, when England finished last in Group D.

Steven Gerrard joins M88 partners

Gambling is largely illegal in the Arabian Peninsula, which includes countries Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen, Oman, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. However, gambling companies are still allowed to advertise their brands during the World Cup, and as a result, gaming companies have been enlisting celebrities and former professionals left and right in the build-up to the tournament. 

Alan Wafer, M88’s head of commercial, shared the company’s excitement to partner with such a legendary soccer player.

an honor to have him be included in our growing roster of partners”

“We are ecstatic that Steven Gerrard agreed to become our Brand Ambassador for the Qatar World Cup,” said Wafer. “It is an honor to have him be included in our growing roster of partners.”

M88’s other partners include Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, retired England soccer legend Michael Owen, Italian soccer champions AC Milan, and Spanish soccer league LaLiga. There is a clear commitment to growing their influence in both Asia and the world of soccer.

Gambling companies have been using brand ambassadorships as a simple but effective method to attract a larger sports betting audience. Signing a deal with a player as popular and globally recognized as Gerrard will provide M88 with more cache than it previously had if nothing else. There could be a few problems on the horizon, though.

Problems and prospects

While the best athletes in the world are duking it out for a four-year title as champions, Gerrard could be in for his share of criticism for the early-week announcement. 

Fellow retired English soccer legends Gary Neville (now of Sky Sports) and David Beckham were serenaded with criticism after they revealed similar sponsorship deals ahead of the World Cup, largely because Qatar’s poor track record on human rights and vehement opposition to the LGBTQ+ community.

Gambling is also outlawed in Qatar, which adds another layer of detail to the condemnation as Gerrard is profiting off of illegal activity. 

one of the jobs he has been closely linked to is the England boss

Many around the soccer world thought that Gerrard would use the World Cup as an opportunity to scout future job opportunities after recently being ousted by English Premier League club Aston Villa. One of the jobs he has been closely linked to is the England boss after incumbent Gareth Southgate recognized his mortality as the Three Lions’ coach in a September interview.

Fellow Englishmen Graham Potter (current Chelsea manager) and Eddie Howe (current Newcastle manager) have also been tipped for the position, along with former Champions League-winning Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel.