An examination by Sports Events 365, a provider of tickets for sports and music events worldwide, has found that Japanese tourists prefer going to football matches in Spain, Italy and England. The analysis summarized the number of sports events’ tickets purchased via the Japanese-language Sports Events 365 website and other ticket purchasing platforms that work with the company in the last football season, between 1 August 2016 and 30 June 2017.
According to Sports Events 365, the Premier League in England, the Serie A in Italy and La Liga in Spain are the most popular leagues among Japanese tourists, who can combine visiting top tourism destinations with attending live matches of outstanding clubs. Sports Events 365 says that the company’s level of service, which also includes a large selection of VIP tickets, prompts Japanese tourists who are not enthusiastic football fans to order tickets to matches in Europe and experience them as a local cultural attraction.
The ten favorite football clubs among Japanese sports tourists are FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, AC Milan, AS Roma, Real Madrid, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint Germain. Japanese demand for tickets to matches of Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund is also driven by Japanese footballers who play for these clubs: Yuto Nagatomo for Inter Milan, and Shinji Kagawa for Borussia Dortmund. Demand is also driven by Japanese oriented marketing efforts by some European clubs.
Last season, as in previous years, European football was the most popular sport among Japanese sport tourists – 70% of tickets ordered at Sports Events 365’s Japanese website were for football matches. Sports Events 365 expects that next summer’s World Cup, which will take place in Russia, will draw thousands of Japanese tourists to the matches.
The other 30% of the tickets were for American sports, such as baseball, basketball, hockey, and American football. Sports Events 365 says that the Japanese buy six times more tickets for sports events in the United States than other nationalities, relatively. As a result, purchases by Japanese tourists account for a large proportion of tickets for sports events in the US, especially events on the West Coast, which is closer geographically to Japan, and in other key cities, such as New York, Chicago and Miami.
“Growing Japanese sports tourism to Europe and the United States is becoming a factor that cannot be ignored,” says Sefi Donner, founder and CEO of Sports Events 365. “The trend is strongly driven by the growing presence of Japanese players in European football clubs and American baseball teams. Sports Events 365 benefits from the jump in Japanese sports tourism and in the past year has made successful efforts to enter the Japanese market. We do it both by directly contacting consumers through a B2C model and by choosing business partners through a B2B model.”
Donner adds, “To let a large number of Japanese customers access our extensive offerings, we teamed with Veltra, a key Japanese website, which sells tickets to a range of attractions and draws 2.5 million online visits a month. At the same time, overseas branches of Japanese tourism companies work with Sports Events 365. Because we only sell tickets, our business partners can work with us to offer their customers tailored packages that include flights and hotels. In this way, our B2B partners can add to their core business another growth engine in the promising sports tourism niche. We are committed to continue enabling the Japanese to find sports events overseas and enjoy a convenient way to order tickets to matches that take place at their tourist destinations, everything in their mother tongue and with the highest quality of service.”
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