The Washington Wizards are continuing their outreach into Japan following the arrival of Japanese draft pick Rui Hachimura by naming NEC Corporation as the NBA team’s first international partner.
In a deal signed by parent company Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE), Japanese multinational information technology and electronics company NEC will have integration into Wizards elements with a key focus towards reaching fans in Japan, including the recently-announced Wizards Japanese website and podcast.
NEC will have messaging within broadcasts as well as digital, social media and TV-visible signage. The partnership will also have hospitality features, including sweepstakes opportunities for NEC customers and experiential events such as viewing team practice, pre-game shootaround and Wizards meet and greets.
In April, the NBA announced the launch of an international marketing program, allowing teams to sell global marketing rights to two international partners beginning with the 2019-20 season. This partnership is the Wizards’ first in this initiative while it is also the first such deal for an NBA franchise in Japan.
Hachimura, who played college basketball for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, competed for Team Japan during this summer’s Fiba World Cup in China. A native of Toyama, he is the first Japanese-born player to be drafted in the NBA.
Hachimura’s mother is Japanese and his father is from the West African nation of Benin.