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Japanese Exchanges Snap up Soccer Superstars to Lure New Clients

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

Two Japanese cryptocurrency exchange platforms, BITPoint and GMO Internet, have made significant moves to reignite public thirst for Bitcoin and altcoin trading – using A-list celebrity endorsements for the first time since the Coincheck hack in January this year.

Japanese football megastar Shinji Kagawa (in the middle) performing in the promotional video by GMO Internet. Source: the video screenshot.

BITPoint has unveiled football superstar Keisuke Honda as the face of its newest advertising campaign. Honda recently signed with Australian A-League team Melbourne Victory and agreed a deal to become coach of the Cambodian national team. He has previously played for the likes of AC Milan in Italy, and has scored 37 goals in 98 appearances for the Japanese national team.

Rival GMO Internet, meanwhile, has enlisted the services of another Japanese football megastar, Borussia Dortmund forward Shinji Kagawa.

The move could mark a turning point for Japanese exchanges, many of which had been using A-list celebrity endorsements as a marketing tactic (to great success) prior to the Coincheck hack. The government is thought to have asked exchanges to tone down their marketing campaigns in the wake of the security breach – and promotional campaigns featuring celebrities were put to an end as a result.

Takashi Kazama, a former youth coach at a Japanese J-League club, told, “These look like really significant deals. Both men are exceptional players – World Cup stars – that most international football fans have seen play. It’s quite a coup for exchanges to have got them on board, especially after the post-Coincheck furor.”

BITPoint has now released two promotional videos featuring Honda, and claims that the player will be paid for his promotional work with the company in cryptocurrency.


The move represents a major turnaround for the company, which recently submitted a report to the Financial Services Agency after the regulator hit it with a business improvement order back in June this year.

And Kagawa has featured in a GMO Internet video that shows the 95-times capped star, who has netted 31 goals for his country, touring the company’s headquarters.

Per Japanese media outlet M&A Online, the duo has been enlisted to help the exchanges spread their international appeal. Kagawa and Honda have played in the UK, Germany, Russia, Australia, Italy and the Netherlands over the course of their illustrious careers.