So far this season, he has won the double crown for home runs and runs batted in (as of June 26). Shohei Ohtani (28), who is in an unprecedented position to hold both the pitching and batting titles, is “an outlier in the commercial industry,” according to a casting director at a major advertising agency.
Until now, athletes such as Kei Nishikori (33) and Hideki Matsuyama (31), who are ranked in the world rankings, have received high commercial fees. Considering their global recognition and good image, it was only natural that global companies and national clients such as airlines and automobile manufacturers were all using them, but the annual contract fee was still around 100 million yen. Otani’s fee exceeded that level by a wide margin, reaching 300 million yen.
The table below shows the latest commercial fees for “top athletes,” compiled by this magazine based on confidential data obtained from major advertising agencies and entertainment production companies. It is clear at a glance that Otani is a standout.
According to an estimate by Forbes magazine, Ohtani’s annual salary this season is $65 million (approximately ¥9.3 billion). More than half of that, or $35 million, comes from advertising and other “non-baseball income.
Otani has transcended the boundaries of baseball and has become a symbol of the Japanese sports world. His positive image of ″hard work and taking on challenges in unknown fields″ is perfect for global companies. Like his talent, his advertising fees will be sky-high.
In addition to his achievements, the advertising industry also places importance on his personality. A senior executive at an entertainment company said, “When he was with Nippon-Ham, he was a member of the All-Star team.
When he was with Nippon Ham, the staff tried to book him a table at a restaurant to thank him for his live TV appearance after the All-Star game, but he declined, saying, “I want to have time to sleep and train. I don’t want to waste travel time. That’s as far as it went, but he continued, ‘Let’s go to your company cafeteria.
Let’s go to your company cafeteria. Everyone fell in love with Otani, who was considerate of the staff and wolfed down a beef bowl for only a few hundred yen. It is a well-known story, but clients value such episodes very much.
Nutobar (25), the leader of Japan’s WBC team, also won a commercial contract early on because of his “good personality.
He is a fast learner and is expected to be a big starter in the WBC. He is a growing player, and we have high expectations for him. What is advantageous for baseball players is that they have games almost every day. If they are active, their names will be called day after day. This is what clients value.
“No matter how good a player is, if he is out for a long time due to injury, if there is a gap between games, or if he plays in an event that attracts attention only during the Olympics, such as figure skating or judo, he is at a disadvantage in terms of advertising effectiveness,” says an advertising planner.
Matsuyama, Nishikori, and Naomi Osaka (25), who entered few tournaments last season due to injury and other reasons, “lost about 50 million yen from the previous year,” according to a staff member at a mid-sized advertising agency.
500 million yen reimbursed alone
The scandal involving Ryoko Hirosue (42) was said to be worth 30 to 40 million yen, but she is now “priceless”.
Kirin Beer moved fast. The day after the news of her alleged affair with chef Shusaku Toba (45), they deleted the “Hon Kirin” commercial video. At that point, she denied it (laughs). I don’t think any company will appear to use her in the future. In the midst of this scandal, her past affairs have been exposed one after another, and even her own office has been bitten. She is in a state of uncontrollability, and there is no way to predict what will come out in the future, so there is nothing but risk.
Becky (39) spent about three years paying off the 500 million yen in compensation she owed for the affair scandal. How many years will it take to clean up after Hirosue, who continues to run amok?
Haruka Ayase (38) is praised by advertisers as impeccable.
She has never been involved in a fatal scandal, and her starring role in an NHK historical drama and hosting the NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen (Red and White Singing Contest) are both significant. It is a job that can only be done with a high degree of likability and transparency that reaches out to men and women of all ages. Fast Retailing, Nippon Life Insurance, and Ezaki Glico are just a few of the large corporations that are our clients,” said an advertising planner.
According to this ad planner, Shun Oguri (40) and Yo Oizumi (50) have also seen their prices rise due to the big river effect.
Both of them were expensive to begin with, but after “Kamakuradono no 13-nin,” Oizumi won 30 million yen and Oguri 20 million yen more than the previous year. It was a rare case in recent years where a major drama was the talk of the town until the final episode, so recognition must have increased considerably.”
Masaharu Fukuyama (54), who starred in “Last Man – The Blind Investigator” (TBS), his first Sunday drama in four years and which earned high household and core viewer ratings (ratings among men and women aged 13-49), reached the 100 million yen mark.
In addition to the popularity of the dramas in which he stars, Mr. Fukuyama has also gained exposure through his singing career, and has a large number of fans to begin with. Matsumoto Hitoshi (59) of “Downtown” also reached the big mark, but I don’t think it is high by any means. His tweets and comments on the show make the Internet news every day, so the advertising effect is very high.
Only those who combine popularity, ability, and personality can make it to the top.
From the July 14-21, 2023 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Shu Nishihara (Otani) Kazuhiko Nakamura (Ayase, Nagasawa, Hirosue) Yusuke Kondo (Fukuyama, Oizumi, Aragaki) Takayuki Ogawauchi (Murakami) Ippei Hara (Abe, Downtown) Kojiro Yamada (Hashimoto) Toshikatsu Tanaka (Katori) Ichiro Takatsuka (Daigo)