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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  1. Ryo
    21/05/2009 at 7:32 am Permalink

    One of the nicest couples who come and cheer for the Fighters actually met at the 2006 Japan Series in the Sapporo Dome outfield cheering section. He ended up moving to Sapporo to marry her a year or two later and I see them fairly regularly in the Kanto cheering sections when they visit here. They should lobby for a ceremonial first pitch!

    Anyway, I’m actually not that surprised by the imbalance of sales… it seems like guys would be a lot more shy about being part of such a huge public matchmaking event than women would be, plus sitting behind home plate is no fun.

  2. Ryo
    21/05/2009 at 7:33 am Permalink

    Also, by the way, his name is Atsunori Inaba, not Akinori Inaba.

  3. Ryo
    21/05/2009 at 10:02 am Permalink

    Where do I sign? ;-p

  4. Ryo
    21/05/2009 at 1:51 pm Permalink


    2000yen for a seat behind the plate is not too shabby.

  5. Ryo
    21/05/2009 at 2:12 pm Permalink

    That is pretty neat! A couple meets at the Konkatsu seats, gets married in the Sapporo dome, throws the ceremonial first pitch as the new husband and wife, and then goes on a Fighters road trip on their honeymoon. That would be a good dorama tv series!

  6. Ryo
    22/05/2009 at 8:12 am Permalink

    Yeah Kenny, that’s the first episode

    Then he gets transferred to Tokyo, betray her by becoming a Giants fan, fight over kids custody etc. Then the news of their divorce get public and Yomiuri tries to stir up some sales by blowing the story out of proportion

    A little bit of baseball, a little bit of romance, and a lot of arguing and fighting in ballparks. Coming next spring on TBS!

  7. Ryo
    22/05/2009 at 1:47 pm Permalink

    Good idea bloodsmurf! You are right that for a good dorama show there must be some chaos too. In addition, for a baseball related movie or tv show the Yomiuri Giants must be involved or else the ratings will drop significantly. Thanks, I’ll submit the story to TBS!

  8. Ryo
    28/05/2009 at 8:06 am Permalink

    thanks very much, great information. Keep up the great work.


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