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NBA, Rakuten partner to bring Warriors, Wizards to Japan for 2 pre-season NBA games in 2022

March 15, 2022 3:13 p.m.

TOKYO AND NEW YORK — The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Rakuten Group, Inc. today announced that the Golden State Warriors and the Washington Wizards will play two preseason games in Japan in 2022.

The NBA Japan Games 2022 Presented by Rakuten will take place Friday, Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 2 at Saitama Super Arena and will mark the league’s 15th and 16th games in the country.

The announcement was made today at a press conference in Tokyo by Rakuten Chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NBA Asia Managing Director Scott Levy. Silver and Levy participated via live video conference.

Tickets for the games will go on sale at a later date. Fans can register their interest in tickets and gain access to presale information here.

The six-time NBA champion Warriors currently feature two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry, five-time NBA All-Star Klay Thompson, and 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year and four-time NBA All-Star Draymond Green. The Wizards currently feature three-time NBA All-Star Bradley Beal, 2018 NBA All-Star Kristaps Porziņģis and 2020 NBA All-Rookie Second Team member Rui Hachimura, who in 2019 became the first Japanese player in league history to be selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. The Warriors and Wizards will both be making their first visits to Japan.

The NBA Japan Games 2022 Presented by Rakuten will livestream in Japan on the NBA Rakuten service and will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories on television, digital media and social media. The games will also be supported by a roster of marketing and merchandising partners. Leading up to the games, the league and its partners will also conduct interactive fan activities, Jr. NBA programming and NBA Cares community outreach initiatives.

Between 1990 and 2003, the NBA staged 12 regular-season games in Japan in Saitama City, Tokyo and Yokohama. The matchup between the Phoenix Suns and the Utah Jazz in Tokyo on Nov. 2, 1990 marked the first regular-season game played outside of North America by a U.S. sports league. The NBA last played games in Japan in 2019, when Rakuten and the NBA partnered to bring the Houston Rockets and the 2019 NBA Champion Toronto Raptors to the country for two preseason games.

In 2017, the NBA and Rakuten announced a groundbreaking partnership that made Rakuten a global marketing partner of the NBA and the league’s exclusive live-game distribution partner in Japan. NBA Rakuten, the one-stop destination for fans in Japan to watch NBA games and programming, currently offers viewers exclusive access to the 2021-22 NBA season. Additionally, Rakuten operates the NBA Zone on Rakuten Ichiba, Japan’s leading e-commerce platform, which features select NBA and team merchandise. Rakuten is also an official partner of the Golden State Warriors, a relationship that began in 2017 when the Warriors welcomed Rakuten as the team’s first-ever jersey partner.

The NBA’s presence in Japan dates back more than 30 years. NBA games and programming have aired in Japan since the 1988-89 season, and officially licensed NBA merchandise is widely available at more than 700 retail stores across the country and through NBAStore.jp, the official online NBA store in Japan. In addition to live games, the league has conducted a number of events in Japan, including interactive fan events, NBA Cares community outreach initiatives, and in 2012 and 2019, Basketball Without Borders, the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program.

Executive Quotes:

Rakuten Chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani:
“For nearly five years, our partnership with the NBA has united fans across Japan and contributed to the further growth of the global basketball community. Rakuten firmly believes in the power of sport to bring people and communities together, which is so essential in today’s global society. We are thrilled with this great opportunity to bring NBA games back to Japan, this time with the Golden State Warriors, our official partners, and the Washington Wizards.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver:
“We are excited to once again bring preseason games to our fans in Japan. There is great momentum around NBA basketball in the country and we thank Mickey and Rakuten for their continued efforts to further grow the sport.”

NBA Asia Managing Director Scott Levy:
“Since 2017, Rakuten has brought the excitement of the NBA directly to fans in Japan through a variety of unique experiences, including as the league’s exclusive distribution partner. Through this latest chapter in our longstanding partnership, the NBA and Rakuten will offer Japanese fans the opportunity to witness a thrilling matchup between the Warriors and the Wizards in an event that promises to be a singular moment for Japanese basketball.”

Golden State Warriors CEO & Co-Executive Chairman Joe Lacob:
“We are extremely appreciative that the NBA has selected the Warriors and the Wizards, two franchises with illustrious histories in our league, to tip off the 2022 NBA preseason in Japan, home of some of the most incredibly passionate NBA fans in the world. During our four-plus year partnership with Rakuten, we’ve had the pleasure of building many impactful relationships throughout Japan, and some of our players, including Stephen Curry, have thoroughly enjoyed recent visits to Tokyo and the interactions they’ve shared with basketball fans who love the game. This unique bond with both our partners and our fans will continue to strengthen during the Japan Games, and we couldn’t be more excited and honored to experience the incredible Japanese culture as a group. This game truly unites all of us across the globe.”

Monumental Sports & Entertainment Founder & CEO Ted Leonsis:
“We are so honored to represent the NBA and the wonderful game of basketball in front of an audience of Japanese fans. We are particularly excited to watch Rui Hachimura play in front of his fellow Japanese citizens. We were proud to welcome him into the DC Family nearly three years ago as a dynamic young talent and have only seen his growth as a player since. And our fans across our home market in Washington D.C. have a special connection to the Japanese people – marked by our annual celebration of the gift of cherry trees given to our city by the Mayor of Tokyo over 100 years ago. Celebrating American and Japanese cultures further strengthens our bonds and so we look forward to taking on the Golden State Warriors and growing new fans of the sport we all love.”

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Niantic, NBA, NBPA team up for NBA All-World

June 29, 2022 7:31 p.m.

NEW YORK — Niantic announced a partnership with the National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Players Association to create an original augmented reality mobile game: NBA All-World. 

NBA All-World is a first-of-its-kind game that will place NBA fans into the real-world metaverse.  

NBA All-World is a free-to-play officially licensed geolocation basketball game where players can find, challenge, and compete against today’s NBA ballers in their neighborhoods, then recruit them to their team before proving themselves on the court.  

“NBA All-World represents an industry first in sports games, as an original, real-world AR game that will appeal to casual and core NBA fans alike,” said Marcus Matthews, Senior Producer at Niantic. 

“We’re creating and designing a game that empowers players to represent where they’re from and showcase the culture of their neighborhood.” 

“Through our partnership with Niantic, NBA All-World will provide fans across the globe the opportunity to fully immerse themselves into the energy and excitement of the NBA,” said Matt Holt, Head of Consumer Products at the NBA. 

“Evident in the name of the game itself, we look forward to engaging with our fans around the world through this captivating experience.” 

“NBA-All World gives us the opportunity to bring NBA players into Niantic’s real-world metaverse, opening up paths for fans to interact with them in a new way,” said Josh Goodstadt, EVP of Licensing for THINK450, the innovation engine of the NBPA.

“Niantic has proven experience building games that encourage engagement in local communities, and having our players integrated into NBA All-World adds to that immersion.” 

Additionally, NBA All-World will embrace the fashion of the NBA, with users having the ability to outfit players in the game with custom apparel.  

Players can sign-up to be notified when NBA All-World is available in their country by visiting NBAAll-World.com. 

Those who sign up will be able to experience an exclusive All-World AR web experience and be the first to be notified about securing their codename for global launch.

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8 facts about foodpanda on its 8th birthday in PH

June 28, 2022 8:23 p.m.

Thanks to online food and groceries delivery services, getting your food is so much easier now. With platforms like foodpanda, you can order instantly and enjoy a delicious meal within minutes. And nothing beats the excitement of getting a call from a Kuya or Ate Ka-Panda rider/biker/walker to tell you that your order has arrived.

As the leading quick commerce digital platform, foodpanda lets you order from your favorite restaurants and shops offering a wide variety of choices – meals, snacks, groceries, and other daily essentials. With 8 years of delivering food and more in the Philippines, life would never be the same without our favorite pink panda brand that has captured the hearts (and tummies!) of many Filipinos. But aside from satisfying your cravings, your curiosity will also be captured by these mind-blowing facts about the country’s go-to online food and groceries delivery app.

As foodpanda turns 8 this year, we’re treating you to some interesting trivia that you probably don’t know about them yet. 

  1. From orange to pink

                     

If anything, foodpanda is best associated with their logo – the pink panda. But you’d be surprised to know that it was originally orange before they made the switch to pink, back in 2017. The fuschia-pink look is definitely a lot of fun, and clearly shows that foodpanda is ever-growing, expanding, and not afraid to take that big leap to cater to all of your food needs.

  1. Leadership at a crucial time

Transitions are hard enough to begin with, but to do it at the most crucial of times would require exceptional skills – one that Daniel Marogy, managing director of foodpanda Philippines, proved to have when he joined the team a day before the lockdown. “That was a very challenging time for me, but it was made bearable because of the competitive foodpanda team led by very compassionate leaders and dedicated team members who helped me steer the ship in the right direction,” shares Dan.

  1. Revolutionizing  the food delivery space

foodpanda was the first online delivery service in the Philippines to house all of your favorite restaurants in an app and deliver food right at your doorstep with just a few taps on your mobile phone. Before foodpanda, do you remember how you would collect delivery hotline numbers, so you know who to call when ordering food? Or how frustrating it is that some of your faves are not available for delivery? Now, Ka-Panda riders not only deliver the meals you’re craving, but so much more – you can shop for groceries from pandamart, pick-up your ordered food if you’re in the area, or enjoy exclusive discounts for dine-in offers from their restaurant partners.

  1. Putting the digital in digital delivery

It’s called quick commerce for a reason because in as fast as 30 minutes or even less, your order is already at your door. The reason behind this fast delivery service, aside from having a massive fleet of riders, bikers, scooter-riders and even walkers, is that foodpanda pioneered the use of internet connection to their vendors. Prior to that, other online food delivery services had to manually use fax and call center agents to relay the orders to the restaurants, so imagine how long it would take. As the first one to automate the ordering process, they definitely transformed the way online food deliveries work so your food will be delivered still hot and fresh – just the way you like it.

  1. Shining the spotlight on “dark” kitchens…

The term ‘dark kitchen’ might sound a bit scary, but a delivery-only restaurant is all there really is to it. It means these food brands do not have physical stores; just take-out outlets designed to deliver only. For foodies who are tired of eating from the same restaurants, you might want to try foodpanda’s concept brands for your next meal. They are present in key cities in Metro Manila and the North Luzon area. (Extra fun fact: some of these brands are created by foodpanda so you can only get it exclusively from their platform).

  1. You can never go wrong with pizza and burger!

Any time is pizza and burger o’clock. It’s probably why these two fast-food staples hold a special place in foopanda’s 8-year journey in the country. The very first order to be placed in the app is none other than everyone’s OG snack, pizza, while topping the order list in the app are burgers.  As the leader in the online food delivery marketplace, foodpanda continues to offer food items that will meet the fast-paced lifestyle and current needs of their consumers.

  1. Employee #1 is still with them

Kristine Luneta, who is part of the Commercial team, currently holds the title of foodpanda’s longest-tenured employee. Like the company, she is also celebrating her 8th year anniversary with them as their employee #1. When asked what made her stay for that long, Kristine shared, “I am drawn to how progressive the mindset is and how connected the people are.”

  1. FP = For the People

Making a difference in the community is also part of the company’s advocacies. One of the many initiatives they do to nurture and help the communities they serve is the ‘BuyAnihan Palengke’ program, aimed at assisting enterprising Filipinos become resellers of fresh produce sourced directly from local farmers. To date, more than 10,000 kilograms of fresh produce have been sold to consumers at an affordable price through various partnerships with local government units since the program was launched last year. Watch out for their next food bazaar exhibit to get your stash of fresh fruits and vegetables.

For 8 years, foodpanda has been a prominent presence in the digital food space in the Philippines – and they vow to continue deliver food, groceries, and more for many years to come. Celebrate with foodpanda’s Pau-tastic birthday: be on the lookout for surprises and announcements for special treats made just for you!

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Hamilo Coast: Nurturing nature for 15 years and beyond

June 27, 2022 1:35 p.m.

The current rate at which individuals observe sustainability practices is far from halting climate change.

Whether it is reducing the use of disposable items or saving more energy, environmentally conscious activities will only yield significant results if everyone is “cast in the same mold,” so to speak.

That said, high-impact global sustainable development lies within the responsibility of the government and large organizations—conglomerates among them.

Understanding such a role, SM Prime Holdings, Inc., one of the largest integrated property developers in Southeast Asia, has incorporated its sustainable practices in its developments early on. 

Through SM Prime’s Costa Del Hamilo Inc., a leader in the leisure resort industry and the movers behind Hamilo Coast – this premium seaside complex in Nasugbu, Batangas, fosters a tangible connection with nature.

Marking its quindecennial year, Hamilo Coast looks back at its milestones and achievements with its core emphasis on sustainable development. 

“Sustainability has been at the forefront of our vision in providing a resort lifestyle. We strive to practice both environmental and social sustainability in our operations through our partners and commnunities,” Franklin M. Bolalin, Assistant Vice President for Hamilo Estate Management, said. 

Disaster risk reduction

Every year, the country deals with an average of 19 typhoons, with some often resulting  in damages to properties and loss of life. 

Coastal defenses such as seawalls and breakwater structures are often implemented to resist storm surges. In the case of Hamilo Coast, mangrove trees are the key.

Hamilo Coast’s 100,000 square-meter or equivalent to 10 hectares mangrove belt is one of the largest mangrove areas in the municipality.

The sustainable beach resort town has since planted 50,000 mangrove propagules, protected hand-in-hand with the conservation organization World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines.

Biodiversity conservation

Apart from disaster mitigation, mangrove trees also benefit the climate by absorbing greenhouse gases (GHGs) and carbon dioxide.

This capacity nurtures the ecosystem and biodiversity in the area, providing habitat for a wide array of species.  

Hamilo is home to rich marine life and abundant flora and fauna. 

Its conservation programs and various sustainability initiatives have nurtured and conserved its precious biodiversity. 

There are about 96 various bird species found at the estate. Among these bird species are the rough-crested Malkoha and the Philippine eagle-owl.

From growing local plants to conducting regular coastal clean-up drives, coastal resource conservation initiatives are active in Hamilo Coast. With the help of WWF, they can increase their fisheries’ biological capacity and monitor their Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)—the Pico de Loro, Etayo and Santelmo coves which are among the three MPAs for Costa Del Hamilo’s Sustainable Development Project. 

Hamilo has been working with WWF since 2007 monitoring the health and viability of Hamilo Coast area. 

In recognition of its conservation efforts, Hamilo Coast was cited by the World Wide Fund for Nature as its longest Sustainability Partner in 2020.

“Over the years, our partnership with SM significantly contributed to the impact we are making in our work in Hamilo Coast. From liquid waste and coral monitoring, to our present work on integrated waste management and food sheds, we hope that this continuing partnership would help us realize our vision of making Hamilo a holistic model of sustainability”, says Katherine Custodio, WWF-Philippines’ Executive Director.

Green buildings development

The path towards a sustainable future is paved with many interventions, including zero waste, dematerialization, zero emissions and resource efficiency practices.

For its part, Hamilo Coast makes its intention to be a premiere sustainability community possible by making sure its buildings are designed with the environment in mind.

Some of the estate’s facilities are powered by alternative sources of energy. For example, its lamp posts use solar power more than traditional ones to function.

Natural lighting and ventilation are also noticeable in some of its residential areas, which benefits the environment as well as its tenants. Additionally, Hamilo Coast implements a solid waste management plan that consists of recovery of materials and vermicomposting, among others.

Sustainable living

At Hamilo Coast’s core is how a distinct beachfront home can harmonize with its surrounding environment.

As people crave for a more relaxed environment, closer to nature and the outdoors amid a work-from-home setup pushed by the ongoing pandemic, Hamilo homes give access to invigorating landscapes, coves to explore and the calming sea. 

Fifteen years later, Hamilo Coast has surpassed its reputation as a weekend respite.

It is now one of the best settlement options for people looking to live the coastal life in a sustainable community. 

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