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Real Sociedad signs shirt sponsorship deal with Japanese Yasuda Group

Deal driven in large part by the growing popularity of attacking midfielder and Japan international Takefusa Kubo

Real Sociedad, the Spanish La Liga club, has successfully concluded its search for a main shirt sponsor by signing a comprehensive deal with the Japanese conglomerate, Yasuda Group. This partnership is a significant part of Sociedad's broader commercial expansion into Japan, largely driven by the impressive performances of its 22-year-old Japanese winger, Takefusa Kubo.

Takefusa Kubo, the second-highest goalscorer in the league this season, has been instrumental in Sociedad's increased focus on Japan. The club's interest in the country has intensified since Kubo's signing from Real Madrid in July 2022. The 'Kubo factor' has not only benefited Real Sociedad but also La Liga rivals RCD Mallorca, where Kubo spent two seasons on loan.

Real Sociedad President, Jokin Aperribay, said

“It aligns with one of the new lines of work that we are pursuing, which is internationalisation. The interest that Real Sociedad raises is growing internationally, and this agreement is a clear reflection of that."

“Japan is a country with very interesting possibilities for Real Sociedad. We are very excited about this agreement, as it represents a new position for Real that will help us in our consolidation as a club. Our commitment is to bring our way of understanding football with our values, those of Gipuzkoa, to Japan.”

The Yasuda Group's brand made its debut on Sociedad's shirt during its 2-1 La Liga defeat at Atlético de Madrid. The three-year deal, which will run until the end of the 2025-26 season, positions Yasuda as the main strategic sponsor for Sociedad's development in Japan. Yasuda's business focuses on marketing operations, academy services, and entertainment operations.

Yasuda and Sociedad agreement more than your typical shirt sponsor deal

The partnership with Yasuda extends beyond traditional sponsorship and aligns with Sociedad's medium and long-term action plan in Japan. The broader deal will also concentrate on talent development in Japan, and a commitment for the first team to play several matches in Japan over a three-year period.

Yasuda Group Chief Executive, Keisuke Yasuda, said:

“We believe that our vision and mission align perfectly with the ethos of Real Sociedad, driven by its strong emphasis on talent development."

“We perceive the club as an institution that cares about actively educating individuals who drive change, especially in the popular sport of football, contributing to the improvement of both athletic and human aspects of people."

“We view this collaboration as a launch pad, a proactive approach to various challenges. We are committed to supporting and contributing to the club’s growth alongside the entire Real family, dedicating all our efforts to the club’s development.”

Increased Japanese influence on La Liga

In December, Real Sociedad agreed on a strategic development partnership with Japanese J2 League club Tokushima Vortis. This partnership further solidifies Sociedad's commitment to its Japanese audience and its strategic focus on the country.

The influence of Japanese players and sponsors in La Liga is becoming increasingly evident. For instance, RCD Mallorca extended its main sponsor deal with Japan's Taica Corporation for two seasons. The agreement promotes Taica's aGEL (Alpha Gel) shock absorption brand on the front of Mallorca's shirt.

La Liga is now exclusively streamed in Japan, following a new rights agreement with U-Next and a renewal with DAZN. These two streaming platforms secured 'co-exclusive' rights in the country for the 2023-24 to 2027-28 cycle. DAZN has held streaming rights to La Liga in Japan since 2017, sharing rights with pay-television's Wowow in the previous cycle.

The 'Kubo factor' has significantly influenced Real Sociedad's strategic direction, leading to a fruitful partnership with Yasuda Group. This move not only benefits the club but also strengthens La  Liga's presence in the Japanese market.

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