SINGAPORE, May 24, 2019 – Mastercard, one of the world’s most active sponsors of major sporting events, today announced it is partnering with two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka. It is the first time Mastercard has added a current number one tennis player to its roster of global ambassadors.
Osaka originally shared the news over Twitter during her last tournament, “Happy to get the first win @MutuaMadridOpen. Excited about my new partnership with @Mastercard Look out for cool things in the future.” She is the first professional tennis player to wear the Mastercard logo – on her visor – in competition.
The addition of Osaka speaks to the opportunity Mastercard sees in Asia as a region overall, including Japan. Mastercard has steadily built out its sponsorship strategy to ensure that both its ambassadors and partners reflect its global footprint and embody evolving consumer passions and preferences of its growing cardholder base.
“Naomi is the next generation of tennis greatness and we’re thrilled to support her quest to be the best tennis player in the world,” said Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer, Mastercard. “As Asia’s first world number one player, she is an inspiration not just to her fans in Japan and the region, but to young girls and boys the world over. We see our relationship as an opportunity for us to enable her – as a consumer and our brand ambassador – to experience all the security and convenience of our payment products and services.”
Osaka has recently risen into the global spotlight. After winning the 2018 US Open Championship and 2019 Australian Open, she is the sixth woman in the Open era to win her first two majors consecutively. Born in Japan to a Haitian-American father and Japanese mother, she currently resides in Florida.
Her presence as a Mastercard brand ambassador also reinforces the company’s focus on championing women in sports, investing in their professional careers and shining the light on gender inclusion.
Mastercard’s premier circle of sports sponsorship and brand ambassadors includes many of the world’s trailblazing and most elite athletes in marque sporting events and organizations such as the Roland-Garros, the Australian Open, UEFA Champions League, PGA TOUR, Major League Baseball, Rugby World Cup 2019, The Open Championship, Copa América, and League of Legends eSports among others. Mastercard uses it partnerships and assets to create Priceless experiences and Priceless surprises to help cardholders get closer to the games and athletes they love.