More Than A Game

» 21 May 2009 » In international baseball, npb, sports business »

The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters are expanding their product beyond baseball, and into the dating industry. On the July 11th and 12th home games, the Fighters are selling special tickets directed to 50 men and 50 women looking for a partner. Participant are limited to people over the age of 18 for the purchase to Konkatsu Seat.

In recent years, only one of four young people in Japan are getting married and action needs to be taken place in order to reverse the trend and increase the number of marriages. The word Konkatsu (Kekkon Katsudou; Action for Marriage) has become part of the common vernacular. This is the main reason the Fighters decided to take a nationwide problem and utilize it in their business.

Here are some bullet points about the Konkatsu Seat project:

  • Male fans will be given a recognizable symbol to attach to their clothes. Female fans will recieve a card with a matching symbol. The couple will be assigned randomly with the male mark on their clothes matching the female mark on their card
  • Fans who purchase Konkatsu Seat tickets will be in a drawing for gifts such as a free pair of airplane tickets
  • Seat changes will occur between innings to add on to the excitement
  • The seats will be placed behind home plate and fans might need courage to participate as there is the possibility they will be shown on television

Fighthers star outfielder Atsunori Inaba comments on Sponichi: “It’s great that the Sapporo Dome can be the starting point. Having the same interest is important. We hope that new couples will come back to the game for a date”.

If a couple that meets at the game ends up getting married the plan is to invite them for the ceremonial first pitch to have their first appearance as a wife and husband on the field.

The results after the first day of sales for the Konkatsu seating are surprising… the female demand has surpassed the supply and the female ticket allotment sold out on the first day. On the other hand, the male tickets are still available and only about ten tickets had been sold after the first day. Team personnel were suprised by this result, and it might be a new opportunity to attract female fans to the ballpark.

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