Osaka, Japan – Panasonic Corporation today announced that it will establish on October 1, 2020 a new corporate division in charge of managing the sports teams it owns, with the aim to make them as a sustainable business. In accelerating the activities of the Sports Management Division, Panasonic also aims to expand the businesses related to sports management in the mid- to long-term.
Panasonic has been involved in the management of various professional sports teams in Japan, such as the Gamba Osaka football team, the Panasonic Panthers volleyball team, and the Panasonic Wild Knights rugby team. Although most sporting events were forced to be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan's top-tier professional football league J1, to which Gamba Osaka belongs, restarted in July. In anticipation of the restart of volleyball and rugby leagues, many sports games have also resumed while taking various measures to minimize the risk of infection. Although facing these social issues, plans are being drawn up to launch new volleyball and rugby leagues aimed to undertake sustainable, independent activities. Against this backdrop, Panasonic has made the decision to strengthen its sports management business with the launch of the Sports Management Division.
Panasonic-backed sports teams are among the top in their field in Japan. The company is the main sponsor for Gamba Osaka, which has won the second-most titles in the J1 league with nine; the Panasonic Panthers, which boasts the highest number of title wins in the V1 men's volleyball league at 29; and the Panasonic Wild Knights, a highly successful team in the Japan Rugby Top League with nine title wins*. In soccer, Panasonic has successfully worked with Gamba Osaka to improve its ability to attract fans through digital marketing, but the company has not been able to sufficiently develop its management for its volleyball, rugby, and other corporate teams.
With the new organization, Panasonic will not only enhance the management of its teams in volleyball and rugby, where new leagues are set to launch, but also develop content, services, and other associated businesses. For the Panasonic Panthers, the company will launch a new fan club for the start of the season in October as a touchpoint for the team's core fans, while enhancing online ticket and merchandise sales. For the Panasonic Wild Knights, in addition to the similar initiatives, a new base will be built in August 2021 in Kumagaya City, Saitama, bordering Tokyo, to reinforce the team's activities. Panasonic will also deploy the expertise it accumulated in events and digital marketing to other teams and industries, and in turn contribute to the development of the sports industry.
In addition, Panasonic will review the websites of its sports teams—which up until now had been run separately by the related divisions—and launch a single, comprehensive Panasonic sports website. This will ensure a range of more enjoyable content for the teams' fans, such as collaborations between athletes of different sports.
Panasonic believes that sport is a form of global social entertainment that can enrich our lives, and one that brings joy, inspiration, and courage to people everywhere. The sporting world is one of the communities that can gather and link people of all nationalities and generations. Further, sport has a high affinity with Panasonic's management philosophy and business resources. Going forward, the company will accelerate its efforts to contributing through sports to a better life for all.
* As of September 29, 2020
Panasonic Corporation Global Communications Department
Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, and B2B businesses. The company, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2018, has expanded globally and now operates 528 subsidiaries and 72 associated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 7.49 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2020. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company uses its technologies to create a better life and a better world for its customers. To learn more about Panasonic: https://www.panasonic.com/global.