GARDENA, CALIF. — Nissin Foods Holdings Co., Ltd. has entered a multi-year global partnership with Rui Hachimura, marking the first time the company has aligned with a basketball player. Mr. Hachimura, 21, played college basketball at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash. On June 20 he became the first Japanese player to ever be selected in the National Basketball Association draft. He was drafted No. 9 overall, by the Washington Wizards.
“I have been eating Cup Noodles my entire life, so to have Nissin support me as I begin my professional career is an honor,” Mr. Hachimura said ahead of the draft. “When I moved to the United States for university, Cup Noodles was always a great reminder of home.”
The partnership between Mr. Hachimura and Nissin is expected to draw global exposure when Mr. Hachimura and the Japanese national basketball team represent the country at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Nissin said Mr. Hachimura’s desire to compete against the top players in the world resonates with the company’s corporate slogan of “Hungry to Win,” striving for innovation in the global food industry.
Nissin’s founder Momofuku Ando invented the world’s first instant noodles, Chicken Ramen, in 1958. Since then, Nissin has pioneered a range of instant noodles globally. Nissin has been supporting a variety of sports activities. Current sponsorships include professional tennis players Naomi Osaka, Kei Nishikori and Yosuke Watanuki, as well as the Japan Olympic and Paralympic teams as the Tokyo 2020 Official Noodle Partner.