Tag Archive > Ichiro Suzuki

Matsui in Demand

» 16 November 2009 » In international baseball, nichibei, sports business » 5 Comments

Before free agent Hideki Matsui begins receiving calls for his service on the field, he’ll have a different set of suitors to field offers from: companies seeking him for endorsements.

According to reports, since the MVP performance in the World Series he has had eight offers to appear in commercials (three from existing sponsors and five additional prospective sponsors). Matsui’s price tag for each commercial appearance is estimated in the same range as Ichiro Suzuki, and his MVP performance could bring in up $10 million in earnings this off-season.

Media demand has also rocketed for Matsui, as he has received an estimated 100 requests for television and event appearances in his home country. Even though his home for next season has yet to be determined, it’s not an understatement to say his new team (if the Yankees does not re-sign him) will have an opportunity to develop a big presence in the Land of the Rising Sun.

That opportunity sets Matsui apart from the rest of the free agent pool, in some regards. The Japanese-language signage we’ve been seeing in Yankee Stadium during Matsui’s tenure with the Yankees is sure to follow him wherever he goes. Every news program in Japan will show highlights from Matsui’s game, so a well-timed advertisement behind the plate will reach millions of Japanese homes on a nightly basis. With this comes a revenue opportunity that teams won’t get with, say, Jim Thome.

As I was in New York last week the lack of Matsui merchandise in stores was not only obvious, but also well publicized. You can count on the Japanese business community not missing out on this opportunity and making the most out of his MVP performance in number of ways.

Patrick Newman contributed a few thoughts to this post.

Continue reading...

Tags: ,

The Meikyukai

» 19 August 2009 » In nichibei, npb » 4 Comments

With Kaz Matsui becoming the latest player to enter the Meikyukai by surpassing a total of 2000 hits between NPB and MLB, it seems like a good time to address what the Meikyukai is and how players can enter the Golden Players Club.

The Meikyukai was first organized by Masaichi Kaneda in 1978 as a voluntary organization, but quickly became a corporate organization built by former players with Kaneda as the president and Shigeo Nagashima and Sadaharu Oh as co-vice presidents. The Meikyukai was organized with the goals of giving back to disadvantaged in the community and contributing to build the grass roots of professional baseball. Main activities of the club includes teaching classes to the younger generations, promoting baseball and participating in volunteer activities throughout the communities.

In order to join the Meikyukai, there are some milestones players need to surpass. Pitchers are able to join after earning 200 or more wins or 250 saves. On the other hand, position players need to surpass the total of 2000 hits. The regulations changed in November 2003, such that the numbers can be a total combined from both NPB and the MLB. Three current players on MLB rosters have made it in to the Meikyukai; Hideki Matsui of the New York Yankees, Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners, and now Kaz Matsui of the Houston Astros. The list of every player in the Meikyukai can be seen here.

The next pitcher in line to join the Meikyukai are Masahide Kobayashi, who is 17 saves shy. Tuffy Rhodes, were he eligible, would need 114 more hits (as of 8/16; thanks to commentor passerby for the clarification). A list of the other players nearing induction can be found on the Meikyukai’s website.

Continue reading...

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Darvish Reaching Ichiro Status

» 04 April 2009 » In npb » Comments Off

Yu Darvish is approaching Ichiro status in Japan. However, this time it’s not on the baseball field, but inside classrooms. He will be featured in the new edition of an English textbook, “Earthliner 09-10″, which is mainly used in high schools in Japan. Every edition of the textbook features a different public figure who has been active internationally and Darvish will be the second baseball player used after Ichiro.

A comment from the publisher states: “Darvish is popular figure with high school kids with thier similarity in age. He has made a name for himself in international competitions such as the Olympics and the WBC.”

The Earthliner textbook selects a figure that will stimulate students’ interest in English. Two pages out of the 32 page textbook will cover his career from his play, from the Koshien National High School Tournament to his performance on the international stage. Four million copies have been sent to schools around the country already and Darvish will look not only to entertain the fans at the ballpark, but the students in the classrooms as well.

Continue reading...

Tags: ,