Kei Koyama: The J.League breaks out
The emerging football leagues around the world might consider the J.League as a model.
Since starting in 1993, it has formed the foundation upon which Japanese club teams have become a force in the AFC Champions League and their national side regulars in the latter stages of major international tournaments. They even co-hosted the World Cup in 2002.
Now, the J.League is looking to expand overseas using digital as a driver.
Kei Koyama, from their international development department, spoke to me about the past, present and future, including the J.League furoshiki (translated as 'wrapping cloth'). This is a digital asset hub which allows them to create better content quickly and efficiently.
We also discuss the competition’s very different demographics and the strategic importance of the 10-year broadcasting deal with DAZN.
Bringing top talent in Asia to J.League
Why focus on Thailand
How the league helps the clubs sign players. “It’s a bridge between the club and the league”
The impact of the major players coming in Iniesta, Podolski, Torres
The DAZN deal and its strategic role "DAZN is a partner to develop the League together"
The split between free-to-air and DAZN
The ‘furoshiki’ digital asset hub/ consolidating assets in the club and opening up.
Learning for the NBA and other leagues over the use of highlights
The importance of the relationship with the clubs
Why the 2011 earthquake was behind the international expansion strategy
Using tours as a tool for international expansion
The most popular European League in Japan
The possible boost of the Olympics and Rugby World Soccer
Using data from the DAZN dealing
The typical J.League experience and demographics. Has it been planned or organic
The women's league being organized differently
The importance of the national team in the growth of the league and part of being the best team in Asia
The initial vision for 100 pro clubs. How they are looking to expand the leagues
Helping J.League clubs win the AFC Champions League
Japan's general lack of interest in sport
The effect of co-hosting the World Cup in 2002
The type of sponsors attracted to League
The target of winning the World Cup by 2050