By Matt Lindner

Building a successful global business requires many of the traits needed to take on a Spartan Race: the grit to focus on long and short-term goals, determination to finish what one starts, and the perseverance to keep a positive mental attitude in challenging times.

Rakuten’s manifestation of these qualities led Spartan to honor us with its Spartan Spirit Award. Rakuten is the first company to receive this recognition, which is awarded annually to a Spartan community member that exemplifies its values.

“We are honored to be the first company to receive this prestigious award,” says Amit Patel, chief executive officer of Rakuten Americas. “Spartan’s message that personal transformation comes from curiosity and challenging yourself resonates strongly with everyone at Rakuten. We try to bring a Spartan attitude to everything we do as we advance our business on behalf of our members and merchants.”

Hundreds of Rakuten employees have participated in Spartan races in the last year, including 13 so far from Rakuten OverDrive, running long distances, scaling obstacles, and fighting through adversity to achieve a shared goal.

“Rakuten has truly taken the building of corporate teams and resiliency to the next level,” says Carola Jain, Chief Marketing Officer at Spartan. “We knew at the beginning of our partnership in September 2018 that this global company was comprised of people who would go above and beyond in the workplace. Rakuten’s leadership was quick to embrace and frankly customize our global platform and their motivated workforce took it to the next level by forming large teams all over the world, rallying each other and forging stronger bonds between corporate teams, offices and their large network of clients and partners. This makes Rakuten really stand out as one of the most innovative companies when it comes to living the brand inside and out.”

Rakuten employees have often been surprised by what they learn about themselves and each other as they work together to complete races. Reported one team member, “It was a great atmosphere on the course. There were some really hard obstacles, but everyone supported each other—from sharing the load of carrying a 50 pound ball to providing encouragement for other team members along the way.”

Spartan offers races around the world that are designed to test your limits. To learn more about Spartan events in your area, click here.