December 6, 2014
  • Rakuten, Inc.

Rakuten Acquires Football Club Vissel Kobe and
Joins the J-League

Kobe, December 6, 2014 - Rakuten, Inc. today announced that it has acquired all shares of Crimson Football Club Inc., the company which runs Japan Professional Football League (J-League) club team Vissel Kobe, and will take part in the management of the club. This acquisition signals Rakuten’s entry into the J-League.

Rakuten has supported Vissel Kobe as the team’s main corporate sponsor since 2004. The unification of Rakuten Group and Vissel Kobe through this acquisition will allow the management to make maximum use of the synergies in the group, and is expected to strengthen the operational base of Vissel Kobe by carrying out efficient marketing and other activities. In addition, Rakuten will make use of the management expertise of its professional sports business, accumulated through the management of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, to strengthen and develop Vissel Kobe, and to contribute to the further promotion of Hyogo Prefecture, focused on Kobe City, the home of the team, as well as the expansion of the J-League.

The acquisition of shares was approved by the Board of Directors of the J-League, and today Rakuten and Crimson Group, the shareholder of Crimson Football Club, concluded a contract for the transfer of the shares. The transfer is planned to take place within the year.

Rakuten is taking this opportunity to bolster its cultural businesses, including its professional sports business, in order to further empower communities and contribute to their development and economic revitalization.

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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