Rakuten Inc., the parent company of Rakuten Securities, one of the largest FX brokers in Japan, has announced yet another sports sponsorship. This Tuesday, the firm revealed a four-year partnership with football star Lukas Podolski.
Podolski is a German-native who is currently playing for Vissel Kobe, a Japanese professional football club currently playing in the top professional football league in Japan. He previously played for the German national team as a forward and helped drive the team to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Under the sponsorship, Podolski will become a Global Brand Ambassador for the e-commerce company. According to the statement released today, the partnership will cover multiple avenues, including e-commerce, exclusive content, Viber integration, supporting Podolski’s charity work in Germany and more.
Together, the Japanese firm and Podolski will collaborate to deliver a number of products for football players and fans in the digital world, the statement says. These products will be launched in the coming months, starting off with Rakuten opening a “Strassenkicker” (Podolski’s streetwear fashion label) online shop on its German marketplace.
Commenting on the sponsorship, Rakuten, Inc. founder and CEO Mickey Mikitani said: “Lukas truly initiated the transformation of Japanese football. Thanks to him and his courage to move to Japan, many top football players have already followed his lead. We’re very grateful for his brave decision and ongoing commitment at Vissel Kobe.”
The partnership between the Japanese internet giant and Podolski was first announced on January 13, 2019, in Gummersbach, Germany at the “Schauinsland-Reisen Cup 2019 – Kicking for a good cause” event.
“The partnership with Rakuten means a lot to me because it connects my football country of Japan with my home country, Germany,” added Podolski.
Rakuten signs NBA champion Stephen Curry
The announcement from Rakuten comes just a couple of weeks after the company announced that it had signed three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry as its brand ambassador. As FortuneZ reported, with this multi-year agreement, the e-commerce firm is aiming to tighten its grip on branding and sports marketing in the United States.