US Open tennis champion Naomi Osaka attends a contract signing ceremony at Nissan's global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, September 13, 2018. (Reuters/Toru Hanai)
Shiseido Co., the Japanese beauty company seeking a more global presence, is bringing on a local hero with international appeal to sell its cosmetics, signing tennis star Naomi Osaka as a brand ambassador.
Osaka, the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles championship, has attracted advertisers looking for a fresh new face to reach a more diverse audience. The 21-year-old, whose mother is Japanese and father is Haitian-American, is expected to be a draw for consumers in Japan as well as abroad.
“As Shiseido tries to convey ‘Made in Japan’ as one of their key brand images to the world, the nomination of Naomi Osaka also suggests the connection to their brand,” Euromonitor analyst Sachi Kimura wrote in an email.
Osaka will become the face of the brand’s bareMinerals makeup line and its Anessa sunscreen. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. The athlete joins other brand ambassadors who are part of Shiseido’s international push, including Russian Olympic skating champion Alina Zagitova and Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi.
“We believe we share with Ms. Osaka the same challenging spirit and world-winning mindset, embracing internationalism while expressing our roots,” Shiseido said in a statement Tuesday.
Shiseido is just the latest endorsement for Osaka. After her U.S. Open win against Serena Williams, Nissan Motor Co. inked a three-year contract with the athlete. She also has endorsements with Japan-based dried noodle maker Nissin Foods Holdings Co., Citizen Watch Co. and Wowow Inc., a satellite and cable channel.