Interest
Japanese National Baseball Team Gets Windfall from Mr. Osomatsu Collaboration

posted on by Eric Stimson
Tickets nearly sold out

Baseball may be Japan's most popular sport, but outside of the regular season, Samurai Japan, Japan's national baseball team, struggles to sell tickets. Star players seldom show up at warm-up matches, and the selection round against the Confederation of European Baseball last year drew only 23,132 spectators. NPB Enterprise, the company that handles the team's merchandise and broadcast rights, expects increased interest in the team as next year's World Baseball Classic approaches, and also points to the high ratings (25.2%) of last year's WBSC Premier12 as evidence of renewed fan support.

But this alone doesn't explain why the upcoming warm-up matches against Chinese Taipei (the Republic of China) have almost sold out. The March 5 match in Nagoya has sold 38,000 tickets, while the match in Osaka the next day has sold 33,000 tickets. NPB Enterprise attributes the boom to an increase in young and female spectators, most likely because of those matches' collaboration with Mr. Osomatsu. If current trends continue, on-site tickets will not be available.

Anime collaborations with Japanese sports teams are common, but there have been doubts raised about their effectiveness. The Mr. Osomatsu collaboration is a case in point: online speculation predicts the anime's fanbase is more interested in the merchandise associated with the tickets than the game itself. The strength of Mr. Osomatsu has led to issues of PASH!, Otomedia, and Animage selling out and to PASH!'s March issue printing an unprecedented 100,000 copies. Meanwhile, the Chiba Lotte Marines is collaborating with WATAMOTE.

Source: Nikkan Sports


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