WIT Life is a periodic series written by professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03). She starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she shares some of the interesting tidbits and trends together with her own observations.
Continuing with the sports theme, today’s NYT has an article about some of the unusual measures the Yokohama BayStars have incorporated to increase attendance at their games. They include discounts for children and seniors on certain days if they wear the team’s jersey, for cross dressers on Thursdays and for late arrivals. In addition, another promotion is a special dating section that fans can opt to sit in (a great way to meet people with common interests!). Previously refunds were offered to dissatisfied fans when the team lost, but this had a negative impact on morale and has since been rescinded.
The impetus behind these changes is the mobile phone game company DeNA that bought a majority stake in the team last year. One of the company’s directors, 36-year old Harvard-educated Jun Ikeda, was selected as president of the BayStars, and a new “chirpy cheerleader” of a general manager was hired as well. DeNA seeks to shake up the status quo and hopefully have this connect to better performance from the BayStars, last in its league which includes the popular Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers and Chunichi Dragons.
Time will tell if the BayStars brand can be helped by the innovative endeavors that have been introduced.