April 26, 2022
  • Rakuten Group, Inc.

Rakuten Sports Enters Strategic Partnership with Skateboarder Yuto Horigome

- Partnership will promote skateboarding culture, events and academies and inspire young skateboarders.

Tokyo, April 26, 2022 – Rakuten Sports – a service which focuses on creating strategic partnerships with professional sports teams, athletes, brands and rightsholders on a global scale – has entered into a strategic partnership with professional skateboarding athlete Yuto Horigome. This collaborative partnership will promote various projects intended to contribute to and enhance skateboarding culture in Japan and on the international stage.

  • ©ムラサキスポーツ

Horigome started street skateboarding when he was in middle school, and moved to the U.S. after graduating high school. He honed his abilities by participating in world-class touring events, before competing for the first time in the Street League, the world’s number one skateboarding competition, in 2017. That year, he placed second, and in 2018, he came in first. In the 2019 season, he won consecutive international competitions and became recognized as a world-class athlete by placing as runner-up in the World Championships. In 2022, he placed first in the X Games Chiba Presented by Yogibo Street event and is a leading athlete in the skateboarding scene both in Japan and on the global stage.

Yuto Horigome commented, “I am very excited to partner with Rakuten Sports on this journey. It is a huge honor for me to form this bond with Rakuten, a company committed to supporting top teams and athletes around the world. I want to give my all so that even more people will better understand skateboarding culture. While the pandemic poses many challenges, I am working hard every day to give my best skateboarding performance so that I can lend courage to everyone—especially the next generation of skateboarders. Thank you all for your continued support.”

Koji Ando, Rakuten Group Managing Executive Officer, commented, “It is an honor and a pleasure to be working with Yuto Horigome, a leader in the skateboarding scene not only in Japan, but globally. Rakuten has long been active in a variety of sports, including baseball and soccer, with the goal of empowering society through the unique power of sports. By establishing this partnership with Yuto, and by extension the world of skateboarding, we're looking forward to empowering the next generation of skateboarders, and the development of skateboarding culture in Japan and abroad.”

Rahul Kadavakolu, Vice President of Rakuten’s Global Sports Business, commented, “We are thrilled that Yuto has chosen Rakuten Sports for this collaboration, and we are excited about the experience and expertise he brings to the Rakuten family. Skateboarding represents more than a sport—it’s a culture unto itself, and one that we look forward to learning from and supporting as it continues to grow globally. It’s our hope that even more people will be inspired and empowered by this unique sport and its culture.”

Horigome will also play the role of brand ambassador for Rakuten and support the expansion of its brand and services domestically and abroad. In addition, Rakuten Sports will co-create innovative initiatives that bring like-minded brands and partners together and implement various projects intended to foster the skateboarding culture. Rakuten will also leverage its ecosystem to create world-class events that capture the skateboarding culture and inspire the next generation of young athletes. In addition, it will produce original content and create new merchandising lines, while also offering a digital academy for young skateboarders to learn and upskill.

Rakuten has taken a strong position in the world of sport, with the vision to empower people through sports, such as its partnerships with the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, and multiple branding initiatives with Vissel Kobe soccer star Andrés Iniesta. In 2022, Rakuten announced a partnership agreement involving promotional and marketing collaborations with professional golfer Mone Inami. Elsewhere in the world of basketball, Rakuten Sports has been supporting athletic, marketing and branding activities for Yuki Kawamura of the Japanese B.League’s Yokohama B-Corsairs, and Rui Machida, who recently signed with the Washington Mystics, a team in America’s WNBA. It also represents Yudai Baba of the Australian NBL’s Melbourne United. Rakuten Sports will now, with the new partnership with Yuto Horigome, contribute to growing skateboarding culture and inspiring the next generation of skateboarders.

Player Profile
Name: Yuto Horigome
Born: January 7, 1999 (23 years old)
Height: 170 cm
Hometown: Koto-ku, Tokyo
Affiliation: mixi, Inc.
Career highlights:
2015: Wild in the Parks, 2nd place 
2016: Tampa Am, 4th place
2017: PHXAM 2017, 2nd place
 Street League Skateboarding Barcelona, 3rd place 
 Street League Skateboarding Munich, 2nd place
 Dew Tour 2017: 3rd place in Men’s Street Final, member of Skate Team Challenge champion Blind team
 Oi STU Open 2017 champion
2018: Dew Tour 2018 champion
 Street League Skateboarding London champion
 Street League Skateboarding Los Angeles champion
 X Games, 4th place
2019: X Games Shanghai, 3rd place
 Street League Skateboarding Los Angeles champion
 X Games Minneapolis champion
 International Skateboarding Open Henan champion
 Street League Skateboarding World Championship São Paulo, runner-up
 STU Open Rio de Janeiro, 5th place
2021: Dew Tour Des Moines, runner-up
 World Championship Rome champion
 Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Skateboarding Men’s Street gold medal
2022: X Games Chiba Presented by Yogibo Street champion

About Rakuten Sports
Based in Singapore, Rakuten Sports is a Rakuten Group service that focuses on creating partnerships built on shared values with professional sports teams, athletes, brands and rights-holders. For more information visit https://biz.sports.rakuten.net/

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

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