Sports Teams Experiment New Monetization Models

Ryosuke Komori

DIVER | Kyoto

Ryosuke is a publisher who has been based in Seattle. He was born in Kyoto.

The Hanshin Tigers, one of the professional baseball clubs in Japan, has implemented “Engate,” a new online tipping system. The Tigers is the first team in the Nippon Professional Baseball to bring about the structure. The club expects the new platform will let the fans stay connected with the players and bring revenue to the team.

“Engate,” a sport gifting platform by Engate, Inc., allows fans to send points to their favorite players or teams. The minimum gifting starts from 100 points for ¥150 (about $1.40). Fans can send an illustrated message with points to their preferred athletes.

Japan Professional Football League, also known as J.League, is ahead of the times. Sanfrecce Hiroshima is the fifth club in the J.League to introduce the online gifting system. The team adopts a gifting platform app, “Pring,” starting on July 4, 2020. 

Japan Fencing Federation is also looking into new monetization models amid COVID-19. The federation has announced that All Japan Fencing Championships will be held in September 2020. Although the event cannot welcome fans to the venue, it is planning to set up a crowdfunding and an online gifting system. Yuki Ota, the president of the Japan Fencing Federation, said that he would like to create a new way for fans to enjoy the bouts. According to Ota, the entire events are scheduled to take place at the Championships.

COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt on both professional and Olympic related sporting events in Japan. A few Olympic sports have resumed the events and tournaments with limitations. All Japan Fencing Championships will be the first full-scale nationwide tournament to be held among all the Olympic sports since the pandemic lockdown. This will be a big step toward sports reopening.

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