Earlier this year, Nintendo hired the famous Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal to help promote the release of Mario Tennis Aces on the Switch. We can’t help but wonder why the Japanese company didn’t also make contact with their very own homegrown talent Kei Nishikori to advertise this release in various regions. The 28-year-old who has previously been recorded as the fourth best professional male tennis player in the world has become one of the most marketable athletes – particularly within Asia – because of his brand endorsements.
In a recent interview with Yahoo Japan, Nishikori said he was fond of video games and loves to take his Switch with him wherever he goes. Since its big release last week, he’s been playing Pokémon: Let’s Go. Disappointingly, he didn’t reveal which version he selected. Previously, Kei has mentioned how he was addicted to Splatoon 2. Much like Japanese commentators, we are now questioning if he plays the new Mario Tennis game as well.
Below is Nadal’s commercial which aired earlier this year in June prior to the release of Mario Tennis.
Around the time this was televised, Nintendo’s total advertising costs reached an estimated $5.8 million – with the largest budget allocated to Mario Tennis. Fortunately, advertising appeared to be worth it, with strong sales worldwide on launch.
Do you think Nintendo should perhaps team up with someone like Nishikori for future endorsements? Do you like when companies promote their games with the help of athletes and stars? Tell us below.