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December 24, 2013
  • Rakuten, Inc.

Rakuten Acquires Naming Rights
for Miyagi Baseball Stadium

- Stadium Renamed “Rakuten Kobo Stadium Miyagi” -

TOKYO, January 24, 2014 – Rakuten, Inc.; Miyagi Prefecture; and Rakuten Baseball, Inc., the company that manages the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles; have reached a basic agreement by which Rakuten will acquire the naming rights for Miyagi Baseball Stadium for the coming three years.

Based on the agreement, Miyagi Baseball Stadium will take on the name of Rakuten Kobo, the eReader service promoted in Japan by Rakuten subsidiary Kobo Inc. From January 1, 2014, the stadium’s new name will be “Rakuten Kobo Stadium Miyagi” (with the shortened Japanese name of “Kobo Suta Miyagi”).

Rakuten brought Kobo Inc. into its group of companies in January 2012. From July of that same year, Rakuten began its full roll-out of eBook services in Japan, and has been working to provide consumers with attractive eReader devices and content. Kobo Inc. is currently offering fully localized devices and services in 17 countries, and has become one of the world’s leading eBook service companies, with its products now enjoyed by 18 million people in 190 countries. The acquisition of the naming rights for Miyagi Baseball Stadium and the attachment of the Rakuten Kobo name is expected to further raise awareness regarding Rakuten Kobo within Japan, and lead to the further expansion of the eBook service’s user base.

Rakuten, as the parent company of Miyagi Baseball Stadium-based Rakuten Baseball, Inc., is putting effort into a variety of regional projects based on its corporate activities. Rakuten was selected this time as an appropriate company to hold the naming rights for Miyagi Baseball Stadium thanks to the high opinion of Miyagi Prefecture for its compliance activities, regional contribution projects put on by group companies, contribution to the promotion of sports within the Prefecture and throughout Tohoku, and the stability and growth of its business. Moving forward, Rakuten will continue to strengthen its ties with the community of Tohoku, including Miyagi Prefecture, in order to become ever closer to the people of the region.

Overview

■New nickname: “Rakuten Kobo Stadium Miyagi” (Short Japanese name: “Kobo Suta Miyagi”)

■Contract period: Three years from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2016

■Contract value: 201 million yen annually
                           note: excluding consumption tax and local consumption tax. 211.05 million yen, tax included

■Main areas where the name will be displayed: 1) On a signboard at the main entrance to the stadium
                                                                            2) on signs directing visitors into the stadium (road markers, etc.)

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