February 22, 2022
  • Rakuten Group, Inc.

Rakuten Launches Affiliation Partnership with Pro Golfer Mone Inami

Tokyo, February 22, 2022 – Rakuten Group, Inc. today announced an affiliation partnership with professional golfer Mone Inami. This is the first such partnership Rakuten has entered with a professional golfer.

In addition to representing the company as an official Rakuten-affiliated athlete starting this season, Inami will play on tour sporting a Rakuten logo-bearing cap, golfwear and caddy bag. The golf star will also assist with marketing activities across a range of Rakuten Group services, beginning with content targeted at golf enthusiasts for Rakuten GORA, one of Japan’s leading golf reservation services. In addition, Inami will appear as the pro tournament host at the Rakuten Super Ladies golf tournament to be held by the Ladies Professional Golfers’ Association of Japan (JLPGA), with Rakuten serving as the title sponsor, from July 28-31, 2022.

Inami played in 45 of the 52 JLPGA tournaments held in the 2020-21 season, scoring in the top 10 on 25 occasions and ranked first in most top-ten appearances for the season. She won a total of nine tournaments on the tour and claimed the top spot for the most prize money earned for the year. Inami’s excellent record has captured the attention of golf fans both in Japan and abroad, and she is currently one of the most-watched players in the game.

Rakuten has long valued the unique and impactful role sports play in society, as owner and manager of professional baseball team Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles and J.League soccer club Vissel Kobe. The company also serves as the title sponsor of the ATP Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships. Rakuten is recognized worldwide for its partnerships with sporting greats such as FC Barcelona, the Golden State Warriors and the National Basketball Association (NBA), contributing to sport around the world as part of its mission to empower individuals and communities.

Rakuten and Inami launched a sponsorship agreement in April 2021, with the company supporting the rising star in her professional career. Under the contract, Inami has presented training methods and club settings on the Rakuten Golf Channel, a YouTube channel provided by Rakuten GORA, which has been received favorably by viewers. With today’s new affiliation partnership, Inami joins the Rakuten family as a Rakuten athlete, and the company will provide comprehensive support for Inami’s professional golfing activities, as it seeks to contribute to the golf industry and the world of professional sport.

Mone Inami commented, “I am delighted to join the Rakuten Group as a company-affiliated athlete. It is a great honor to become part of the Rakuten family, which supports top athletes and teams around the world. So many exciting things have happened since Rakuten began offering their support last season, from becoming an Olympic medalist and winning major tournaments to taking the top spot in most prize money earned for the year. This year’s season is about to begin, and as I prepare to play under the Rakuten banner, I am also preparing to get back to basics, start the year afresh and aim for my first win of a new season. While the pandemic has yet to subside, I will continue working hard to deliver excitement ­– and something to smile about – to my fans, who continue to cheer me on even while experiencing hardships of their own.”

Rakuten, in its quest to empower people through sport, will continue to pursue initiatives to power the sporting scene and contribute to its further development.

Player profile
Name: Mone Inami
Date of birth: July 29, 1999 (22 years old)
Height: 166 cm
Place of birth: Toshima Ward, Tokyo
Golfing since: Age of 10
・2020-2021: JLPGA – JLPGA Awards for leading prize money winner and best scoring average, JLPGA Kagayaki Award, Special Award (JLPGA team)
・2019: LPGA (currently JLPGA) – LPGA Awards Rookie of the Year
Career highlights:
・Tokyo 2020 Olympics Women’s Individual Stroke Play silver medal
・2020-2021: Nine JLPGA Tour wins:
 Stanley Ladies Golf Tournament
 Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Ladies Yokohama Tire Golf Tournament
 Yamaha Ladies Open Katsuragi
 Fujifilm Studio Alice Ladies Open
 39th Fujisankei Ladies Classic
 Chukyo TV Bridgestone Ladies Open
 Nitori Ladies Golf Tournament
 JLPGA Championship Konica Minolta Cup
 37th Itoen Ladies Golf Tournament
・2019: One JLPGA Tour win:
 Century 21 Ladies Golf Tournament
・2020-2021: Leading prize money winner
・2020-2021: Second place in the Mercedes Ranking*1

*1 Formal title: JLPGA Mercedes-Benz Player of the Year Rankings. This ranking calculates the tournament results of each JLPGA tour event and the US LPGA majors in order to evaluate the success of a player comprehensively in a given year.

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

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