Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani became the most marketable MLB player in recent history during the 2022 MLB season, dazzling fans around the globe with his talents. Let’s take a look at his current partnerships and his arguably boundless endorsement potential.
Japan’s megastar designated hitter/pitcher racked up 17 brand endorsements in 2022, breaking Aaron Judge’s record of 13 deals the previous season. “Shotime” tripled his endorsement revenue after becoming the first player to appear on the covers of GQ, Time, Sports Illustrated, and MLB The Show during a six-month span.
While the bona fide phenom has yet to partner with brands on social media–another potential marketing juggernaut for him and prospective sponsors–Ohtani’s 21% growth YoY in followers on Instagram, his only current social platform, offers would-be partners a potential audience of 1.5 million fans (and counting). His sole branded post so far: the announcement of his star turn on the cover of MLB The Show.
Ohtani’s relatively low social media profile aside, his outsize international appeal is such that he’s enticed a slew of Japanese brands to advertise stateside when he’s on the field–not only in Angel Stadium, but in other MLB ballparks as well. These far-flung brands bought backstop ads all season when the dynamo stepped up to bat: 22 scooped up signage at Angels home games, while 11 brands followed him to 10 opposing teams’ stadiums.
The 22 brands buying “Shotime” at Angels home games were:
- Konica Minolta
- Sapporo Ichiban
- Daiso Japan Store
- JAE- Japan Aviation Electronics Industry
- GungHo Online Entertainment
- Bandai Namco Entertainment
- Funai Electric
- Nitto Tire
The first inning is prime time for these brands, as it all but guarantees exposure with Ohtani on the mound or at the plate. Suffice it to say that if the 2022 season is any indication, the sky’s seemingly the limit for “Shotime” within the sponsorship universe.