**This is an online event.
The Golden State Warriors and the Washington Wizards are going to Japan! The teams will play each other at two preseason games in Japan on September 30th and October 2nd. These games will mark the first-ever Japan visit for both teams.
Join us on Zoom on September 14th (U.S.) | September 15th (Japan) to celebrate the special games by learning about the basketball scene in Japan and the key differences in sports business culture in Japan and the U.S. Also, acquire the behind-the-scenes story of the partnership between the Warriors and Rakuten and how the preseason games came to be.
Our amazing speakers include Marty Kuehnert, the first foreigner to be general manager of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles and a current senior advisor to the Japanese professional basketball team Sendai 89ers; Yuta Nodera, general manager of basketball business at Rakuten, Inc; and Rahul Kadavakolu, executive director of global and group marketing & branding at Rakuten, Inc. Kadavakolu leads Rakuten’s global sports and entertainment partnerships, including the one with the Golden State Warriors.
Our moderator is Aaron Miller, lecturer at California State University, East Bay, and St. Mary’s College of California in the fields of sports sociology and sports history. Miller wrote his dissertation at the University of Oxford about the relationships between sports, education, and culture in Japan.
Date & Time:
US: September 14, 2022 at 3:30 PM PDT | Japan: September 15, 2022 at 7:30 AM JST
3:30-3:35pm / 7:30-7:35am : Opening by the Japan Society of Northern California
3:35-3:40pm / 7:35-7:40am : Aaron Miller, PhD | Lecturer at Saint Mary’s College of California and Host of “The Power of Sports” Podcast
3:40-3:50pm / 7:40-7:50am Marty Kuehnert | Senior GM of Sendai 89ers
3:50-4:00pm / 7:50-8:00am Rahul Kadavakolu | Director of Global Marketing & Sports Partnerships / Vice President of Global Sports Business at Rakuten Group, Inc & Yuta Nodera | General Manager of Basketball Business at Rakuten, Inc
4:00-4:15pm / 8:00-8:15am Panel Discussion
4:15pm / 8:15pm Closing Steve Pollock | President, Japan Society of Northern California
Online via Zoom (You will receive the Zoom link after registration)
Marty Kuehnert is the senior general manager of the Sendai 89ers pro basketball team. He was the first foreign general manager of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in October 2004.
Mr. Kuehnert graduated from Stanford University in 1968 and has been involved in higher education in Japan for more than three decades, including Waseda University as a professor, Sendai University as a professor and vice president, and Tohoku University as a professor and advisor to the president.
He is considered a foremost authority on sport in Japan and is known for speaking on the difference in cultures as seen through sports.
Rahul Kadavakolu | Director of Global Marketing & Sports Partnerships / Vice President of Global Sports Business at Rakuten Group, Inc.
Based out of Tokyo, Rahul Kadavakolu is the Director of Global Marketing & Sports Partnerships / Vice President of Global Sports Business at Rakuten Group, Inc. He leads the global brand and marketing function, including Rakuten’s global sports and entertainment partnerships and activation strategy. Mr. Kadavakolu is directly responsible for Rakuten’s partnership with the Golden State Warriors.
Yuta Nodera | General Manager of Basketball Business at Rakuten, Inc
Yuta Nodera is currently the general manager of education business and basketball business at Rakuten, Inc.
Aaron Miller, PhD | Lecturer at Saint Mary’s College of California and Host of “The Power of Sports” Podcast
Aaron Miller holds a B.A. in Political Theory from UCLA and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in socio-cultural anthropology from the University of Oxford. His doctoral dissertation investigated the relationships between sports, education, and culture in Japan. Mr. Miller has worked with Japanese organizations for over a decade, beginning his career as an Assistant Language Teacher with the Jet Program on the island of Shikoku.
Currently, Mr. Miller lectures at California State University, East Bay, and St. Mary’s College of California in fields such as sports sociology and sports history. His book about Japan, Discourses of Discipline: An Anthropology of Corporal Punishment” in Japan’s Schools and Sports, was published in 2013.