NBA and Rakuten, Inc. Announce Multiyear Partnership
The NBA league office started its Tuesday by announcing a multiyear partnership with Rakuten, Inc. who will now become the league’s exclusive distribution parter in Japan.
The partnership will allow the NBA to provide live games all across Japan with Rakuten becoming its new global marketing partner. This will be the most comprehensive media partnership in Japan. The media giant will provide NBA LEAGUE PASS as well as the NBA App for purchase.
“We are very excited to partner with the NBA to bring all the action of the world’s top basketball league to fans in Japan,” said Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani, founder and CEO of Rakuten, Inc. “As we have recently announced that we are proud partners of the Golden State Warriors, the NBA’s reigning champions, it is an honour to expand our contributions to the global growth and development of basketball with this NBA partnership.”
The NBA has been present in Japanese markets for close to 30-years. NBA games have been on-the-air in the country since the 1988-89 season.
“Rakuten is one of the world’s most innovative companies and an ideal partner for the NBA,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “Our new relationship with Rakuten speaks to the appetite that our passionate fans in Japan have for live NBA games and content, and we look forward to working with Rakuten to provide the most comprehensive NBA coverage to date.”
Rakuten, a company founded in 1997 as the world’s first successful merchant-focused e-commerce marketplace its popularity has skyrocketed over the past couple of decades and now encompasses over 70-businesses worldwide.