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Patrick Newman

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Sport Management in Japan

by Patrick Newman (Feb 7, 2009)

The words "Sport Management" and "Sports Business" have recently become trendy in Japan. Some universities jumped at the opportunity to expand interest from students to the community, while other universities have quietly been observing what opportunities sports business may bring. The idea of sports being able to make money and individual teams being able to operate independently was fart-fetched due to the long history of professional teams being dependent on parent companies, which is still the fact today in most cases.

One of the universities jumping at the opportunity is Waseda University, to which Masumi Kuwata has recently been accepted. Their school philosophy from founder Shigenobu Okuma was to be involved in athletics as much as academics. Even though their implementation of sports activities in the classroom has run since 1964, their history of the Sport Management and business courses has started recently in 2003, which illustrates how short the history of sports business has been in the mind of the academia. Now many of the universities that have been observers are jumping at the possibility and developing a new area in sports studies at a significant pace.

As more individuals have looked overseas to play professional sports, more of the Japanese population has shown an interest in the sports world overseas. Along with the creation of professional soccer and basketball leagues in the last twenty years, people have started to recognize that sports, indeed have an opportunity to bring in revenue. That is the same for Japanese professional baseball and teams has started to expand their strategies by learning from other professional teams and started to bring some creativity to their strategies. With the economy being unstable, the importance of professional teams not being dependent on their parent companies might be crucial in the future. As more and more individuals start to develop sport management knowledge on Japanese campuses, the new generation might be able to bring a CHANGE to the sports business in the future. I will look into some of the new sports business ideas implemented in team management throughout Japanese professional baseball in my next entry.


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