BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — An Israeli startup has hired Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi as its brand ambassador.
Moshe Hogeg, a co-founder and co-CEO of Sirin Labs with Tal Cohen, posted a photo of himself and the world’s most famous soccer player on his Facebook page.
The company has developed what is says is an ultra-secure mobile phone using blockchain technology, which is a continuously growing list of computer records, called blocks, that are linked and secured using cryptography.
“We are excited to have Lionel Messi, the best soccer player in the world, as the global brand ambassador for Sirin Labs,” he said in the post. “We have identified the potential of blockchain technology and are developing SirinOS to improve the security and user-experience on the blockchain to encourage mass adoption.”
The company also tweeted the news, saying it is “proud to announce our #official global brand ambassador, the GREATEST footballer on the planet – LEO MESSI. Let’s kick some goals together and bring #Blockchain technology to the mass market.”
There is a Sirin Labs research and development center in Tel Aviv, but the company has expanded globally to include a London site and a company headquarters in Switzerland.
Messi, who plays professionally for the Spanish team Barcelona, has won the FIFA Ballon D’Or prize for the best soccer player in the world five times and often is considered one of the greatest players of all time. He will be part of the Argentine national team at the World Cup 2018 in Russia.
While on “peace tour” to Israel with members of the Barcelona team in August 2013, Messi visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem and met with Israeli leaders. In July 2013 he sent a message to the Argentine Maccabiah team. One year later, Messi supported a soccer match organized by Pope Francis to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but he did not play due an injury.