Japan business 2Sports Marketing

Yukako Akabane Director, Sports Department 1 Sports Division

Director, Sports Department 1 Sports Division Yukako Akabane

Supporting Sports and Connecting People

Sports marketing covers a range of operations, but at its core involves supporting athletes and creating an environment where they can perform at their best. This involves providing support for the bidding to host sports events, in addition to the other services we provide, which include the creation of marketing schemes and the recruitment of sponsor companies. We feel that these persistent efforts help nurture athletes and lead to decisions to hold sports events. As one example, our efforts led to the selection of Tokyo as host of the 2019 World Judo Championships in 2016.

Over the past few years, we have also been pushing initiatives to connect athletes with their sponsors and supporters. We want to create opportunities for athletes to directly thank their sponsor companies, visit regions not hosting events or disaster-stricken areas and interact with the local children. These activities help cultivate long-term sports fans, while at the same time increasing the motivation of athletes.

Partnering with Stakeholders: Key to Success

Sports marketing requires various rights related to broadcasting, marketing, and industry promotion.On the basis of its highly regarded track record, Dentsu has acquired many of these rights. But, of course, we cannot do everything on our own. Bidding to host world championships, for example, involves thorough communication and teamwork with companies and various relevant organizations, such as broadcasting stations, international sports federations, and domestic sports governing bodies, starting from several years prior to the event. If the bid is won, the next step is to partner with the venue and sponsor companies, as well as with many other organizations and individuals, including the athletes themselves. Our role is to continue to build relationships with various stakeholders.

During the 2016–17 season, we began live broadcasts of all V League matches (Japan’s premier volleyball league in Japan) through Perform Group, which is based in the UK. We expect that enabling viewers to watch matches wherever they are and whenever they wish will help cultivate more young fans. For overseas sports marketing, we are considering partnering with DAN.

Toward 2020

In many of our divisions, Dentsu is pushing initiatives in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We will do everything in our power to provide athletes the optimal environment and conditions, so that in 2020 they can perform at their best. Even after 2020, we plan to continue working with various stakeholders to help sports generate additional value for society.