J.League Revenue Growth In '14 Fueled By Broadcasting, Merchandising
Revenue at the J.League organization grew 6% to 12.3B yen ($101.5M) last season, thanks to higher income from broadcasting, merchandise and expansion to a third division, with stronger growth on the cards for this year. Merchandising income jumped 14%, largely due to a number of big clubs vying for the J1 title, along with sales from the new J3 division clubs, according to the league. Money distributed to the clubs grew by 1.8% to a total of 7.47B yen ($61.75M).
POSITIVE CHANGES: The current season, which kicked off on March 7, sees a return to a two-stage competition with a playoff to decide the overall J1 champion, for the first time in 11 years. "With the extra broadcast revenue from play-off games and the sponsorship deal with Meiji Yasuda Insurance for all three leagues and the cup, we're expecting further growth in income this year," J.League spokesperson Kunio Yoshida told SBD Global. The Meiji Yasuda deal is reported to be one of the biggest in Japanese domestic sport, though figures have not been announced. A new club Renofa Yamaguchi has been added to the J3 division, which joined the league structure last year, to take it to 13 teams for the current season. "The J3 division brings in more revenue too, but, of course, increases our expenditure to manage it as well," Yoshida said.
Gavin Blair is a writer in Japan.