As you may be aware, Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura is a bigger deal in his native Japan than he is here in the D.C. area. And earlier this week, another company partnered with him to help its presence both in Japan, but also in East Asia.
On Tuesday, GOAT, an online marketplace of luxury sneakers, signed Hachimura to be their second brand ambassador, in part to attract East Asian customers, which includes Japan and neighboring countries like South Korea and China. The East Asian marketplace is becoming a dominant plater for luxury goods, according to a column by Eben Novy-Williams of Bloomberg.
Proud to announce my partnership with @goatapp as their newest athlete. pic.twitter.com/qPz9m3oNxQ— Rui “Louis” Hachimura 八村 塁 (@rui_8mura) February 11, 2020
The first ambassador was Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma.
Unlike most ambassadorships and endorsements, GOAT isn’t paying Hachimura a salary, like Novy-Williams noted. Instead, he has an online store that features a collection of Jordan Brand sneakers, some of which are tailored and cost well over $2,000 a pair. That is fittinb because Hachimura has a sponsorship with Jordan Brand.
Hachimura is not be the Wizards’ franchise player from a basketball-only perspective. But from an international perspective, he is effectively their global ambassador!