Major League Baseball (MLB) has announced a new multi-year partnership with Japan-based hospitality company JTB.
As part of the new deal, JTB will become the official sponsor of MLB’s World Tour and will offer exclusive international hospitality packages for the season-opening Seoul Series between Shohei Ohtani’s Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres.
The two-game series will take place at the Gocheok SkyDome in South Korea’s capital on 20-21 March, which will mark Ohtani’s debut for the Dodgers after inking a sports record 10-year $700m contract last December.
JTB will also offer access for fans outside the US to select VIP ticket and hospitality packages across World Tour events, including the Seoul and London Series. The company will also provide tickets to MLB regular season games to fans based in Asia, with travel and accommodations in the US included.
Noah Garden, Deputy Commissioner, Business & Media of the MLB, said: “With MLB’s growing international popularity over the last decade, we have continually focused on developing and growing the game abroad.
“As we embark on an increasingly ambitious schedule of global events, we need key business partners who can match our ambitions and work closely with us to keep growing Baseball fandom around the globe. We believe JTB can provide that vital support and we look forward to working closely together on the World Tour.”
JTB opened its New York office 60 years ago and has handled a large number of overseas trips along with overseas travel in Japan.
In recent years, JTB has enabled thousands of Japanese baseball fans to visit the US and Canada to see Japanese players star in MLB, while establishing strong relationships with many clubs across the baseball league.
Eijiro Yamakita, JTB President & CEO, commented: “Last year we experienced a dramatic rise in demand for travel and events around the world as we finally moved beyond most challenges caused by the pandemic and now we clearly see that the market needs for real and exciting experiences are very strong,”
“In this situation, we are deeply impressed by MLB’s commitment to bringing the wonderful experience of baseball games to people around the world, as it resonates with our brand slogan: ‘Perfect moments, always.’ We are ready to create opportunities for people to enjoy baseball with our solid global network, knowledge and hospitality.”