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Oct '16 22

Sports Marketing Report 2016: Baseball most watched, favourite sport in Japan

Press Release World Baseball Softball Confederation

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The World Baseball Softball Confederation today welcomed an independent sports marketing annual report out of Japan that indicates baseball remains the most watched and the favourite sport in Japan.

The preliminary findings of the sports marketing 2016 report were jointly published on 20 October by the largest online market research technology company in Japan, Macromill, in collaboration with economic research experts Mitsubishi UFJ Research & Consulting.

In all 13 editions of the consumer report furnished by Macromill and Mitsubishi UFJ Research & Consulting, baseball has been the favourite and most watched sport in Japan, while Japanese baseball star Ichiro Suzuki has been Japan’s favourite athlete.

“This glowing report further reaffirms the historic decision of the International Olympic Committee to add baseball and softball to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “Following Olympic Agenda 2020, WBSC and our all our stakeholders will do everything we can to amplify Olympic engagement in Japan, particularly among young digital users, and help deliver the Olympic message to new audiences around the world.”

The online web quantitative survey was conducted last month and analysed 2,000 valid responses (50% male, 50% female) from internet users in Japan ranging from 15 to 69 years old.

The trends found in the 2016 report are also in line with the flagship WBSC PREMIER12® 2015 — co-hosted/launched in Japan — having generated Japan’s highest TV viewership of any international sporting event in 2015 and having stimulated a record 2 billion social media impressions globally — the most ever for an international baseball event. Females represented 40% of the inaugural PREMIER12 global TV audience.

The full preliminary 2016 report of Macromill and Mitsubishi UFJ Research & Consulting can be found here (in Japanese).

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