Press Releases 2003

“Yahoo! BB STADIUM” First Naming Rights Secured for
Official Professional Baseball Stadium

Mar. 17, 2003

Two companies in the SOFTBANK Group (Group representative: Masayoshi Son: SOFTBANK BB Corp. and Yahoo Japan Corporation: see profile of both companies below) have reached an agreement with ORIX Baseball Club Co., Ltd. (Hereunder; the Orix Baseball Club), which manages and administrates the professional baseball stadium, Green Stadium Kobe (Suma-ku, Kobe), owned by the City of Kobe, in regard to the stadium’s naming rights. The agreement follows the approval today of the details of the agreement by the naming rights review group set up in the City of Kobe Public Construction Project Bureau.

As a result of the approval from the City of Kobe, the stadium, which is the home ground of the Orix BlueWave baseball team, will officially be named the “Yahoo! BB STADIUM” as of March 31, 2003.

The SOFTBANK Group is partaking in the naming rights agreement as it shares the enthusiasm of both the City of Kobe and the Orix Baseball Club, who aim to create an “ideal ballpark concept” that is close to the hearts of many fans, particularly Kobe citizens. The company also shares the vision of the “Kobe City Restoration Plan”, whose aims “building an information network society” in the City of Kobe.

This is the first time a naming rights agreement has been reached in regard to an official pro-league baseball stadium in Japan.

Basic naming rights agreement details

1. New stadium name

“Yahoo! BB STADIUM”

2. Term and value of agreement

Two years (April 1, 2003 – March 31, 2005)

200 million yen (excluding consumption tax and local consumption tax) – agreement entered into by two SOFTBANK Group companies

3. Use of new stadium name

Planned to begin on March 31, 2003

Free Invitation to “Yahoo! BB STADIUM” Opening Night

To commemorate the launch of the new stadium name, “Yahoo! BB STADIUM”, and to enable fans to familiarize themselves with the new name, we will offer free of charge all unreserved seats in the infield and outfield to the 31st of March match between Orix BlueWave and Seibu Lions. We will also be providing various types of entertainment before and during the match.

1). Free invitation from SOFTBANK Group

All unreserved seats in the inner and outer field for all matches against Seibu Lions between March 31 and April 2 will be offered free of charge, with the aim of allowing fans in the area to become familiar with the new stadium and enjoy not only the baseball game, but also the stadium’s facilities and atmosphere.

2). Other events

We will celebrate the unveiling of the new stadium name with a wide variety of entertainment events, including the invitation of a celebrity to throw the first pitch and an open-air fireworks display after the end of the fifth inning.

[Note]
  • *We will provide additional details at a later date on the events organized for March 31 for the media

“Green Stadium Kobe”

Owner City of Kobe (common estate)
Opened March 6, 1988
Seats 35,000
Field size
both wings
99.1m
center
122m
Total venue area 50,434 m2
Number of visitors 997,000 (2002)
Days open 120 (excluding practice days and days when venue is for general hire)

Naming rights

Naming rights refer to the right to display a company or brand name at the sporting facilities of a stadium or arena. This concept is already well established in North America, where many companies have acquired naming rights, particularly of professional sports teams. Naming rights are a common and important way of raising funds for the construction and operation of sporting facilities. As at November 2002, there was one example in Japan of naming rights attached to a public facility.

Yahoo! BB STADIUM logo

Company Profiles

SOFTBANK BB Corp.

Company name SOFTBANK BB Corp.
Head office 24-1 Nihonbashi Hakozaki-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Representative President and CEO: Masayoshi Son
Date of Establishment May 16, 2000
Date of merger January 7, 2003
Type of Business
  • The Company engages in the provision of broadband infrastructure and services centering on Yahoo! BB as well as in technical development, marketing, sales and support.
  • The Company offers IT-related distribution and services and supervises and administers affiliated broadband and e-commerce companies.

Yahoo! JAPAN

Yahoo Japan Corporation (listed on JASDAQ; ticker symbol: 4689; Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Established: January 31, 1996; President & CEO: Masahiro Inoue) manages the comprehensive information website Yahoo! JAPAN, which attracts approximately 29.57 million unique users each month* and 439 million page views per day. The website offers 63 different services, including Internet search, content, community, commerce, and mobile services. The global Yahoo! Internet network stretches across 25 countries, including the United States and Canada, and countries in Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

[Note]
  • *Based on a rating of 90.4% (NAR: the ratio of users who visit the site more than once in four weeks), according to a viewer rating research report produced by the Japan Research Center (JAR Report vol. 53; conducted between January 27, 2003 and February 23, 2003), we calculated that approximately 32.71 million Internet users have viewed the website.
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