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Star Ronaldo spurs Portugal Pestana Hotel chain's attack overseas – including NYC

Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has teamed up with his country's top hotel chain, Pestana, in a joint venture that his partner hopes will help open new markets in Asia and reinforce its expansion into Spain and the United States.

Ronaldo is following the footsteps of other sports stars who have invested in hotels, including tennis players Andy Murray and Andre Agassi and soccer's Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs -- but Ronaldo's venture stands out for its global ambition.
He and Pestana plan to open two hotels under the Pestana CR7 brand -- CR7 is a trademark combination of Ronaldo's initials and jersey number -- by end-2018, having already tested the market at home in Portugal with an initial two hotels.
The first Pestana CR7 hotels have opened without fanfare in Madeira and Lisbon, generating positive results, said Pestana CEO Jose Theotonio.
"The joint brand is opening possibilities to us, Pestana, in places where we would have hardly gotten alone," he told Reuters at Lisbon's ornate Pestana Palace Hotel, temporary home of pop star Madonna who moved to Portugal in September.
"We have contacts to enter other markets, where the brand CR7 is strong, in Asia, the Middle East," Theotonio added, citing interest from mainland China, Macau, Dubai and Qatar.