Competitive Edge - Sports & Entertainment Marketing News

Baseball star Ohtani becoming a global brand icon


Two-way star Shohei Ohtani received countless accolades during his incredible 2021 season that saw him win the American League MVP Award unanimously, get awarded the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award and become the first player to be elected an All-Star as both a pitcher and a position player.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What makes Shohei Ohtani so marketable?
  2. MLB has been criticized in the past for not putting enough empahsis on marketing individual stars. Based on what you learned after reading this story, will they be prioritizing the marketing of Ohtani?
  3. If you were a marketing professional at MLB, what would you do to market Ohtani?
  4. What is endorsement?
  5. What characteristics do you think brands look for when determining which athletes and celebrities to represent their products and services?
  6. What brands currently have deals with Shohei Ohtani?
  7. According to this story, Ohtani has earned 3x more in endorsements this year than last. He will also make 3x more than what the next closest MLB player is expected to make in endorsements this year. Why do you think brands are so interested in partnering with him when compared to other MLB stars and/or any other athletes?
  8. In your opinion, is there any risk associated for a brand to partner with Ohtani? Why or why not?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.


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