SBD/January 27, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Darvish Signing Could Help MLB Rangers Sell Ad Space To Japanese Companies

Rangers to explore having Japanese companies sponsor signs when Darvish starts
Nearly 100 Japanese media members are expected to attend the MLB Rangers' Spring Training after the signing of P Yu Darvish, and the team is "likely to sell advertising space," according to Richard Durrett of ESPN DALLAS. It is a chance for North American companies "to advertise to the Japanese market or for Japanese companies to take advantage of the opportunity to increase exposure in the United States and back home." Rangers Exec VP/Business Partnerships & Development Joe Januszewski said, "We signed Yu because it makes us better as a team on the field. But it does give us an opportunity to extend our brand and explore some advertising opportunities we might not otherwise have." Durrett reported the Rangers have "limited inventory at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and will explore the possibility of having Japanese companies sponsor a sign with Darvish's starts likely to get plenty of air time in Japan." SportsCorp President Marc Ganis said that the club "would need to get creative on the days Darvish starts." Ganis: "They could sell rotational signage behind home plate and sell specific slots for only the games he pitches." Januszewski said, "We'd love to be the team of Japan. We'd love to see fans in Japan wearing Rangers hats and jerseys." However, Durrett noted the Rangers "won't get the full benefit of fans slipping on a Darvish No. 11 jersey in Tokyo." Merchandise sales overseas and international broadcasts "are negotiated by Major League Baseball, and the proceeds are spread across the league and all 30 teams." The only way for the Rangers "to keep the majority of profits from a jersey that isn't sold in stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is if they open their own stores in Japan, something Januszewski doesn't see as a possibility because of the cost" (ESPNDALLAS.com, 1/26).
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