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SBD Global/September 25, 2013/Events and Attractions

Japanese Baseball Club Using Sports Business Class To Recruit Young Execs

Japanese professional baseball team Yokohama DeNA BayStars is holding a one-day “Sports Business Marketing” course on Nov. 11 to introduce university students to the world of professional sports business. The course -- provided in conjunction with the Career Daigaku (University), an informal vocational school run with the cooperation of some of Japan’s largest corporations -- will cover an introduction to the pro-sports industry, workshops on sports marketing, and a networking event. BayStars PR Manager Jun Kusumoto told SBD Global, “Few students think about a career in pro-sports, so this is an opportunity to give them a way into the industry, show them what it’s about and increase the number of people who might enter the business.” The BayStars have taken in 50 students as interns since last year, working mainly on activities related to increasing membership of the team’s fan club, according to Kusumoto. The team was founded in the '30s and was sold by TV network Tokyo Broadcasting System to mobile social game company DeNA in '11 for 6.5B yen ($65M). DeNA Global PR Officer Tomoyuki Akiyama told SBD Global, “One of the reasons DeNA bought a baseball team was to raise its corporate profile, especially among parents of college kids who might be thinking of a career with us. To let them know we are an established company and not just a start-up."
Gavin Blair is a writer in Tokyo.
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