Archive > 14 March 2009

Ozeki Fails to Land Contract

» 14 March 2009 » In mlb prospects » Comments Off

Former Seibu Lion, Yokohama BayStar and Yomiuri Giant Tatsuya Ozeki failed in his audition with the Rockies. The outfielder made the announcement in an entry on his blog, saying he had hoped to become a player who could succeed in America despite being passed over in Japan. He’s back in Japan now. I’ll guess he’ll be looking for something new to do. For those who are interested in following he is frequently updating his blog.

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Celebrating their 40th Anniversary: Tokyo Yakult Swallows

» 14 March 2009 » In sports business » 2 Comments

The Tokyo Yakult Swallows will open their 40th season with the 2009 season. To celebrate, they are coming out with new home and away uniforms. On the team’s website, the first 400 fans will be able to purchase jerseys, which will be available by opening day. Before opening day, the players, managers and the mascot will gather with the fans to introduce their new uniforms and provide an opportunity for 500 fans to attend a talk show. During the season, the Swallows will honor their past and will have four themed terms throughout the season dedicated to each decade. Also fans were able to send photos from their cell phones to be included on the 40th anniversary board, “Our Swallows” which will be showcased in the stadium throughout the season.

Sharing the same home market with one of the most popular teams in the Giants, their strategy toward building a fan base requires creativity. Experiencing the lockout in the 2005 season as the president of player’s association, former player and manager Atsuya Furuta started the F-Project to improve relationship with the fans and the community. The three words linked to the F-Project is Fan, Fun, and Full (attendance in the stadium). The project is also thought to be named the F-Project taking the first letter from Furuta. The project has ended, since Furuta is no longer part of the team, but their focus toward establishing a relationship with the fans and the community still continues to improve.

The Swallows puts their effort toward exciting the city of Tokyo by parterning with a professional basketball team in the Tokyo Apache. A fan club member or a Swallows fan arriving with team’s apparel will receive a discount for the basketball game. The same arrangement goes for the Apache fans attending a Swallows game as well. Swallows players will at times attend Apache games for a tip-off ceremony and each team try to build connections in order to make sports a big part of the capital of Japan.

Flexibility in tickets is available with their five different types of ten-game ticket plans which they call the Swallows player pack 10 plus 1. The options vary from ten games including just weekdays, mainly weekend games or a mixture of both. Fans purchasing these ticket plans will also receive a bonus game ticket for free. Another interesting opportunity for the fans in all April home games limited to hundred fans are the Warm Merchandise Included Tickets, which will include a team scarf, an exchange ticket for a hot drink included with a  reserved seating game ticket along the first base for only 3000 yen.

Tokyo Yakult Swallows will use every opportunity to market their 40th anniversary for success both on and off the field for the 2009 season.

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