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Rakuten hopes to extend sponsorship of GS Warriors

The chief executive of Rakuten’s Americas operation, Amit Patel, has revealed that Rakuten is looking to “play the long game” when it comes to its jersey patch deal with the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Golden State Warriors.

The three-year partnership between the duo signed in 2016, which is estimated to be worth close to US$20m per year, is due to expire at the end of next season. Patel, however, confirmed with Bloomberg news agency that Rakuten is looking to extend its sponsorship of the team, as it commits to boosting its brand awareness across the US.

Rakuten CEO attributed the sponsorship deal as one of the key factors in brand recognition, with engagement among basketballs across the US having climbed by 300 per cent since signing the sponsorship agreement.

“We certainly want to play the long game. We continue to evaluate the opportunity and look for ways to extend its life,” explained Patel.

Following a report published earlier this year from GumGum Sports, figures suggest that Rakuten’s sponsorship of the Golden State Warriors has generated a value “north of U$40 million”, with US$19 million of that figure driven through social media alone during the 2018/19 campaign.

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