Last year, the ATP Mallorca Championships were the stage for the launch of Rakuten’s cashless payment app, Rakuten Pay, in Europe. Rakuten Europe had just announced a three-year partnership with e|motion group, a leading event organizer and trend-setter in sports marketing, to support the tennis tournament.
This year the event returned from June 18 to 25, welcoming over 25,000 spectators, as well as some of the top names in tennis from Rafael Nadal to Stefanos Tsitsipas. The tournament also showcased a unique vision — one that transcends far beyond the world of sport.
Much more than a tennis tournament
Aspiring to make the event much more than a tournament, organizer e|motion sports put this year’s focus on sustainability as a fundamental pillar.
One of the outstanding initiatives was a partnership with waterdrop, who supplied refillable water bottles. The sale of these bottles at the tournament not only saved the use of more than 50,000 plastic bottles but the company also donated one euro to the Mallorca Preservation Fund for every refillable bottle purchased. The spectators of the tournament were provided with free filtered water provided with the help of a local partner.
Another unique idea was the recycling of most of the tennis balls used in the tournament. In Spain, more than 19 million tennis balls are used every year — the majority of which wind up in landfills. Teaming up with Green Ball, Rakuten set out to raise awareness of this issue by recycling and converting more than 1,000 balls into energy by taking advantage of the high calorific power of the rubber.
At the Rakuten booth on-site, visitors could also sign up for a Rakuten account to become a member of the recently launched cashback shopping service — and with a bit of luck even win VIP tickets or free manga.
The opening ceremony of this year’s tournament was also dedicated to a good cause. All revenues from exhibition ticket sales are being donated to the “Tennis Plays for Peace”‘ initiative created by the ATP in conjunction with the WTA, ITF and the four Grand Slams in order to raise funds and aid for the people of Ukraine. Ticketing partner Eventim España also donated all the expenses of the ticket sales of the event to the Ukrainian people.
A dedicated app for tennis fans
By partnering with e|motion group to support ATP Mallorca Championships as well as the ATP MercedesCup in Stuttgart and the WTA bett1open, Rakuten aims to leverage its digital expertise in the sporting world to enhance the fan experience at events, bring innovation to traditional sports and ensure the industry is future-fit.
For the tournament in Mallorca, Rakuten released an updated version of the app for the event, that not only allowed fans to view live scoring, stats and figures, but also served as a hub for exclusive content, as well as allowing them to make ticket purchases and order food and drinks at the venue.
Rakuten has long valued the unique and impactful role sports play in society, and this unique event in sunny Mallorca was yet another step toward contributing through innovation, empowering through social responsibility and making a commitment to connect fans and players across the globe.
© All pictures by ATP Mallorca Championships.