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Nov 19, 21

Rakuten and Davis Cup serve up the “Davis Cup Fan World Cup Presented by Rakuten”

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Rakuten Group, Inc. and Kosmos Tennis announced today the launch of the Davis Cup Fan World Cup Presented by Rakuten, a unique chance for tennis fans around the world to cheer on their favourite team at the Davis Cup Finals by submitting messages of support for the national teams competing in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals, held from November 25 till December 5, 2021. Fans can submit their messages here from now until December 5: https://rakutenfans.com/

To celebrate Rakuten’s presenting partnership of the Davis Cup, the global leader in e-commerce, fintech and communications has invited tennis fans from all over the world to submit messages of support for their national teams. These messages will be printed on tennis balls and canvas to create 19 unique art installations, one for each team, spread across the Madrid Arena in Madrid, Olympiahalle in Innsbruck and Pala Alpitour in Turin, the sites of the group stages, quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals of the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2021. The installations will be installed at the venues where each national team is playing in the Group Stage of the tournament, ensuring that each team has the opportunity to experience the fan messages first-hand.

Each installation represents a national team at the Finals, with a special one dedicated to all fans at Madrid Arena, and the designs were all inspired by key victorious moments each team experienced on their journey to the Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2021. The 19th installation is a tribute to the fans and tennis community from all over the world who have supported the Davis Cup and their beloved teams over the years, especially in the challenging times faced over the past two years. Fans will have the opportunity to continue sending messages of support, to be included in the 19th installation, even during the final week of the tournament – both through the website and also at the Rakuten Fan Zone in the Madrid Arena.

Rahul Kadavakolu, Director of Global Marketing and Branding at Rakuten Group, Inc., said: “In a historic national team tournament like the Davis Cup, fan support is key. Over the past two years, the pandemic has highlighted the ever-increasing importance of engaging fans not just in the stadium, but all over the world. With the Davis Cup Fan World Cup Presented by Rakuten, we are launching a platform for fans to show their support in a way that players can experience first-hand – even when the fans are half a world away.”

Enric Rojas, CEO of Kosmos Tennis, said: “The Davis Cup fans are very important for the competition. Their passion for cheering on the players is unique, there is no other tournament where they are so strong, so colourful and so much fun. The fact that Rakuten, in partnership with Kosmos, has come up with this campaign to reinforce their role and prominence, seems to us to be extremely appropriate and we encourage all fans to send their messages. It’s a unique opportunity for fans, that cannot travel to the venues, to be there supporting their teams.”

With more than 1.5 billion members worldwide, Rakuten leverages its expertise in e-commerce and customer loyalty programs to bring innovation to the Davis Cup through digital and offline engagement to enhance the fan experience. As the Global Presenting Partner and Global Innovation and Entertainment Partner of the Davis Cup by Rakuten, the two partners have succeeded in opening up new avenues for online communication and content sharing with fans, including the use of the Rakuten Viber messaging platform to launch Davis Cup sticker packs and other exclusive content on the Davis Cup Viber Community, and the creation of new programs that engage and reward fans both locally and globally, such as launching a curated selection of tennis-related books on Rakuten Kobo and introducing Rakuten Pay as a cashless payments solution – complete with special merchandising benefits – at the Madrid Arena.

Rakuten’s innovation extends to the tournament itself, enhancing the fan experience on-site and virtually. The partners have introduced the Rakuten Optimism Award for the Most Inspiring Player, in which Rakuten selects one message contributed from fans to engrave on the trophy awarded to the player, as well as the Rakuten Optimism Award for the Most Inspiring Team, which is voted only on the dedicated Davis Cup Viber Community. Rakuten TV released “Break Point: A Davis Cup Story” in 2020, a documentary about the oldest and largest international team competition in tennis. The documentary, a Kosmos Studios production, reviews the final phase of the Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2019.

Rakuten, Kosmos Tennis and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced that the top men’s tennis team competition would be renamed the Davis Cup by Rakuten in June 2019. Rakuten is recognized worldwide for its association with sporting greats such as FC Barcelona, the Golden State Warriors and the NBA, as well as for its ownership of the Japanese J.League professional soccer team Vissel Kobe and professional baseball team Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. The company has also been the title sponsor of the ATP Rakuten Japan Open since 2009 and contributes to sport around the world as part of its mission to empower individuals and communities.

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