Angels Okay Marketing Ohtani To Japanese Fans On Their Own
The Angels are forgoing signing an "exclusive deal with a Japanese travel agency" to market P/DH Shohei Ohtani and instead will continue to "put together customized Ohtani tour packages," according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES. The team offers packages "that can include game tickets, merchandise and stadium tours." Ohtani "might already be the brightest star in Japan's formidable constellation of baseball players." He is the "rare player who pitches and hits," and is "expected to resume pitching next season" as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. In a way, that makes this season "ideal for Japanese travel agents: Ohtani does not need to sit out the days before and after he pitches." Japan Outbound Tourism Council Chair Jungo Kikuma: "You can put out a pamphlet: 'Go To Los Angeles and Anaheim and see Ohtani,' and there's a good chance people will actually see him." Angels President John Carpino said that since signing Ohtani following the '17 season, the Angels have "reached six new sponsorship agreements with Japanese companies." Carpino: "We've had several six-figure sponsorship deals." Shaikin noted the Angels' attendance last year "increased by 11% for each of the five home games in which Ohtani was the starting pitcher." If each additional fan paid the average ticket price of $30.26, the club's ticket revenue "would have increased by almost $600,000." That figure "does not account for incremental gains on the nights Ohtani batted rather than pitched, nor for the additional revenue from sales of food, drink, parking and merchandise" (L.A. TIMES, 6/26).