Senior Manager - Global Sports Digital Strategy
Vanessa Asell-Tsuruga leads Rakuten Group’s Digital Sports Marketing Strategy team, weaving in contractual partnership assets from the sports and entertainment properties in the Rakuten portfolio to create content for the Rakuten Sports social channels. The objective is to build a fan base and introduce the Rakuten Ecosystem of over 70 different services.
Prior to Rakuten, Vanessa worked for ASICS in Sponsorship Activation, Sports Marketing, and PR roles at the Global Headquarters (Kobe, Japan) and Scandinavian office in Stockholm, Sweden. She also worked as a Tokyo based BBC World Service freelance reporter.
Vanessa holds a Master’s Degree in “Olympic Studies, Olympic Education, Organization and Management of Olympic Events” from the International Olympic Academy, and a BA in Journalism from City University, London. She is doing her PhD at Waseda University, Graduate School of Sport Sciences.
Vanessa is also an author. She self-published her debut novel on Rakuten Kobo, in Swedish, on International Women’s Day 2020. She had it translated into English. Forget-me-not Forever is available on Rakuten Kobo as an eBook.
An avid runner in her personal life, she has run 6 marathons.
Managing Director - Global Brand Partnerships Japan
Spartan is a global fitness brand with a 10+ million strong community. They create transformational experiences, products, and content to help people, companies and teams tear down boundaries and expand what they believe to be possible.
Emily brought the US Boston headquartered Spartan brand to Japan in 2016, forming a local licensee partnership with XSM (Xebio Group) and later SRJ (Wildside Inc.) to launch and operate five mass participation sporting events each year, across multiple locations in Japan, creating a whole new sport category namely Obstacle Course Racing (OCR). OCR is aiming for inclusion in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics as a demonstration event.
Spartan launched aggressively from an unknown brand in Japan to over 25,000 racers a year and 60M household views on terrestrial TV and organic Youtube views. Emily partnered the brand with Rakuten, Jaguar Landrover, BMW, Nature Made, Casio G-Shock and many more out of Japan.
Jeremy Loeliger was appointed General Manager of the Hungry Jack’s National Basketball League (NBL) in 2015, Chief Executive Officer in 2016, and elevated to the post of NBL Commissioner in 2019. In this period the NBL has undergone a major transformation and is now Australia’s fastest growing sporting league and the second best domestic basketball league in the world after the NBA.
In his role, Loeliger has overseen the successful Next Stars program offering an alternative pathway for budding NBA superstars such as LaMelo Ball and Josh Giddey. The program has generated worldwide interest and enhanced the NBL’s status as a global entertainment product. He has also played a key role in establishing the NBL’s relationships in the US, Europe and Asia and building the league’s profile both domestically and globally.
Before joining the NBL, Loeliger was a partner of a national law firm.