Rakuten Inc., the parent company of Rakuten Securities, one of the largest FX brokers in Japan, has signed three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry as its brand ambassador.
With this multi-year agreement, Rakuten aims to tighten its grip on branding and sports marketing in the United States.
Commenting on this partnership, Mickey Mikitani, Rakuten’s founder and CEO, said: “The global team at Rakuten is immensely excited to launch our partnership with Stephen Curry, one of the greatest players in the NBA today and one who has relentlessly pushed boundaries and turned established expectations on their head with his achievements.”
“This new partnership between Curry and Rakuten is rooted in shared values and experiences: With remarkable track records of disruptive innovation, we continue to set the bar to even greater heights because we are passionate about empowering society and we believe in the future,” he added.
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Rakuten will also sponsor Curry’s upcoming basketball camp – Underrated Tour – aimed to train overlooked prep athletes.
Sports – a Lucrative Advertisement Industry
It’s been years since the Japanese internet company started sports marketing to penetrate in the foreign markets. Last year, it partnered with Europe’s major football club FC Barcelona’s football school FCBEscola. The signed sponsorship deal was rumored to have come to 220 million euro ($274 million). In addition, the company is the global innovation and entertainment partner of FC Barcelona.
Last year, the Japanese internet giant also jumped into the blockchain industry by acquiring a local Bitcoin exchange for 265 million yen ($2.4 million). Moreover, Rakuten has been recognized as a major competitor in the foreign exchange industry.
“Stephen has an inspiring story to tell both on and off the court, and we’re excited to collaborate with Rakuten in a way that empowers Stephen to inspire others,” said Jeron Smith, Curry’s business partner. “We look forward to working with Rakuten to inspire the next generation of underrated athletes and to help grow the Rakuten brand in the U.S.”