The J.League and Rakuten held a joint press conference on Monday to announce their newly-formed partnership, with the e-commerce company set to become the J.League’s Official EC Platform Partner.
The deal will see the J.League Online Store re-launched in late July on Rakuten’s online shopping platform, Rakuten Marketplace.
“We recognise that a solid EC platform is necessary to fulfill our merchandising needs,” said league chairman Mitsuru Murai.
“We lacked those fundamental abilities, but teaming up with Japan’s biggest e-commerce player will allow us to meet logistical challenges such as payments, product management, distribution, and customer relations.
“This is the third and final pillar of a structure which includes our league partners as well as our broadcasting deal with DAZN. We are building a league that can support our member clubs.”
Joining Murai at the press conference was Rakuten chairman Hiroshi Mikitani, who stressed the company’s desire to provide J.League fans with a stress-free shopping experience.
“In recent years sports leagues around the world have become more involved with merchandising efforts,” Mikitani said. “Through our platform, fans will be able to buy merchandise from any J.League club.
“We want the world to think of the J.League as Asia’s number-one league and encourage more star players from Europe and South America to play here.”