Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 26 No. 230
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Wizards Execs Travel To Japan To Talk Hachimura, Partnerships

The Wizards hope Hachimura's international appeal will help establish the team's brand in Japan
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
The Wizards hope Hachimura's international appeal will help establish the team's brand in Japan
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
The Wizards hope Hachimura's international appeal will help establish the team's brand in Japan
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

A pair of Monumental Sports & Entertainment execs flew to Japan for the "second time in six weeks to negotiate more sponsorship deals" for Wizards rookie F Rui Hachimura, according to Chase Hughes of NBCSPORTSWASHINGTON.com. MSE Vice Chair Raul Fernandez and President of Business Operations & Chief Commercial Officer Jim Van Stone have "over 20 meetings lined up over the course of a week in Tokyo." Van Stone said, "When you look at worldwide distribution of the NBA, it just continues to grow and blossom. I think Japan is really that next big market and opportunity for us. I think Rui is going to help really establish that." Fernandez said that their first trip to Japan was an "eye-opening experience," as the team has seen the "social media engagement numbers from content involving Hachimura." Wizards execs usually take "annual trips to meet with companies" in London and the United Arab Emirates. But Japan is "new venture for them and the league and it has the Wizards wondering how far it can go, and whether it can reach the level of other star athletes in their home countries." Van Stone said that he would like the Wizards to "become the 'team of Japan'" (NBCSPORTSWASHINGTON.com, 11/11). In DC, Adam Zielonka notes the Wizards in October announced a new deal with NEC, the team's "first sponsorship deal with a Japanese organization" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 11/12).