Rakuten signs deal with the Davis Cup
MUMBAI: Rakuten and Kosmos Tennis have announced that they have reached a multiyear agreement with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for Rakuten to become the Global Innovation and Entertainment Partner and Global Presenting Partner for the Davis Cup in 2019 and 2020. Rakuten has replaced BNP Paribas.
Under the terms of the agreement, the competition will be renamed the Davis Cup by Rakuten. The partnership agreement links the Davis Cup with Rakuten until 2020, with the option of a further two-year extension. Rakuten will have high visibility in the Finals and Qualifiers.
Rakuten chairman, CEO Mickey Mikitani said, “By becoming the global partner of the Davis Cup, Rakuten has taken another important step forward in our mission to inspire and empower people across the globe. We are firm believers in the power of sport to bring people and communities together, and to inspire optimism and innovation.”
ITF president David Haggerty said, “We are delighted to welcome Rakuten as Global Presenting and Global Innovation and Entertainment partner. The Davis Cup has always been about maintaining tradition while embracing innovation. Adopting new technologies for the Davis Cup is allowing us to enter exciting new partnerships, and we look forward to working with Rakuten to reach a global audience in new and diverse ways.”
Kosmos Tennis CEO Javier Alonso said, “Having Rakuten as the main sponsor of the event is great news for the Davis Cup, the World Cup of Tennis. Innovation and entertainment is key for both Rakuten and Kosmos. We are excited about working together to create new engagement formulas of interaction with the fans both inside and outside of Caja Mágica in order to improve their experience with the Davis Cup Qualifiers and the Madrid Finals.”
With over 1.2 billion members worldwide, Rakuten will leverage its experience and expertise in e-commerce and membership loyalty programs to bring global innovation to the Davis Cup through digital and offline activations aimed at enhancing the complete fan experience. Future plans include opening up new avenues of online communication and content-sharing for supporters, including use of the Rakuten Viber global messaging platform, and creating new programs that will engage and reward fans both in-venue and globally.
Rakuten has partnerships with sporting brands such as FC Barcelona, the Golden State Warriors and the National Basketball Association, and its ownership of J.League professional soccer team Vissel Kobe and Nippon Professional Baseball team Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. The company also serves as the title sponsor of the Association of Tennis Professionals Rakuten Japan Open since 2009 and contributes to sports worldwide as part of its mission of empowering people and communities.
Tickets for the Davis Cup Madrid Finals, which will be held from November 18 to 24 at Caja Mágica in Madrid, are on sale now via the official website. Tickets start from €25 and special rates for children are also included.
The 18 teams competing for the chance to become world champion and raise the Davis Cup trophy are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Russia, Serbia, Spain and the US.
The Davis Cup Finals begin with a group phase of 18 qualified teams competing in six groups of three countries competing against each other, each tie consisting of three matches (two singles and one doubles) in three sets with tie break matches. The six group winners, plus the best two seconds — based on the number of matches, sets, games and points earned — will qualify for the quarterfinals. The Davis Cup World Champions will be crowned at the end of the knockout phase.