NBA: Warriors ink lucrative jersey deal with Rakuten
As the NBA joins sports leagues around the world in allowing sponsors' names on jerseys, the Golden State Warriors have inked a logo deal with Rakuten worth a reported $60 million (50 million euros) over three years.
The deal with the reigning NBA champions is just one of the sports sponsorships pursued by Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce giant whose logo now graces the FC Barcelona kit.
Rakuten chief Hiroshi Mikitani told a press conference in Oakland, California, on Tuesday that he was "thrilled" to announce his partnership with the Warriors and the NBA.
Warriors chief marketing officer Chip Bowers said the team was attracted to Rakuten for its global reach and its local affiliation, with cash-back site Ebates headquartered in San Francisco.
"We really liked the fact that they had a local presence, so it's a global brand out of Tokyo, Japan, but to have Ebates headquartered here, to have Rakuten have offices here, it had a local feel to it, but it gave us a global audience to speak to," said the Warriors' chief marketing officer Chip Bowers.
Rakuten, which also owns messaging app Viber and ebook brand Kobo as well as J-League football club Vissel Kobe and pro baseball team Rakuten Golden Eagles -- will have its red-and-black logo featured on the Warriors' white jerseys starting this season.