Saturday, June 15, 2024

World-Famous Japanese Green Tea Brand Signs Up Baseball Super-Star as Ambassador

SINGAPORE, May 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — ITO EN, Ltd., producer of Oi Ocha, the world’s No. 1 unsweetened green tea beverage brand, has signed a global endorsement agreement with Shohei Ohtani, star pitcher and hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers, a Major League Baseball team, effective April 30, 2024.

A spokesman for ITO EN President and Representative Director, Daisuke Honjo, made the announcement from the Company’s headquarters in Shibuya, Tokyo. "We are honored to have on board an athlete and celebrity of Ohtani-san’s talent and stature," he said. "As we aim to become a global tea company, ITO EN will further enhance the value and prestige of Japanese tea globally by implementing various projects in Japan and abroad with its new superstar brand ambassador, Shohei Ohtani," he explained.

Ohtani is a longtime fan of Oi Ocha and has been enjoying the popular drink from his time growing up in Japan, up to his current life in Southern California as the history-making, record-breaking baseball player for, first, the Los Angeles Angels, and now his new home with the Los Angeles Dodgers. "I have loved Oi Ocha since I was in Japan, and it is also a great companion in my life in America," says Ohtani.

Nicknamed "Sho-time" by sports writers since his move to Los Angeles, Ohtani often appears in post-game press conferences, drinking from a bottle of Oi Ocha as he fields questions from reporters. He not only enjoys the taste but also is a firm believer that it enhances his athletic performance as well as helps him cope with stress and the demands of a celebrity.

ITO EN is set to launch a multinational advertising and marketing campaign in major media spanning North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe, especially in those countries where baseball is already hugely popular, such as the U.S., Canada, and Korea, as well as home country Japan. The campaign will also include a variety of promotional events in which Ohtani’s numerous fans will want to participate.

Press media include: Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Asahi Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, and Sankei Shimbun, as well as sports and regional newspapers throughout Japan, including Iwate and Hokkaido, where Ohtani was active professionally.

Outside of Japan, the media blitz will include major newspapers in the United States such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Honolulu Star- Advertiser; the United Kingdom’s Financial Times; Korea’s Chosun Ilbo; and Australia’s Courier-Mail, Daily Telegraph, and Herald Sun – countries where baseball is popular, as well as others where there is growing interest in the game.

In conjunction with the endorsement signing, ITO EN is pleased to be publishing an open letter the Company sent to Shohei Ohtani, expressing its support as his phenomenal career continues to thrill and inspire baseball fans the world over. Full-page "teaser" advertisements will run in more than 60 newspapers in Japan and around the world, showcasing the letter of encouragement from ITO EN’s Oi Ocha to Ohtani.

Publication of the letter to a mass audience further demonstrates ITO EN’s unwavering support for Ohtani and also speaks for his legion of admirers, to say, in so many words: "We are behind you and with you as you now proudly wear ‘Dodger Blue,’ Ohtani-san!"

ITO EN also pledges to deliver as many bottles of the contracted products as requested,

anytime, anywhere, to the athlete himself and to those around him who support him.

Shohei Ohtani’s Profile


GLENDALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 21: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers poses for a photo during the Los Angeles Dodgers Photo Day at Camelback Ranch on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Born in Iwate Prefecture in 1994. 193 cm tall, 95 kg, Shohei Ohtani uniquely throws right-handed and bats left-handed. He was the first overall pick in the NPB 2012 draft, joining the Hokkaido Nippon- Ham Fighters, where he drew attention for being a two-way player. In 2016, he contributed to the Fighters’ Japan championship with both pitching and hitting, and became the Pacific League MVP. In 2021, he was named Major League Baseball’s American League MVP after hitting 46 home runs as a hitter and winning 9 games as a pitcher with the Los Angeles Angels. In 2023, he had a historic season, becoming the first Japanese player ever to win the American League home-run crown, in addition to achieving double- digit wins and home runs for a second consecutive year. In December 2023, he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

ITO EN Corporate Profile

Based on the Group’s management philosophy of "Customers First," our mission is to help our customers lead healthy and affluent lives and help create a sustainable society. We are committed to providing the best taste and value of Japanese tea to our customers of all ages.

In order to realize our long-term vision of becoming a "Global Tea Company," we will continue to promote "Oi Ocha" as a representative Japanese brand around the world, connect with tea culture in various regions around the world, and create a new tea culture and tea market on a global scale through the ITO EN Group’s technology and value chain. Through the strong partnerships we have built with everyone associated with our company since its establishment, we will continue to contribute to the healthy and affluent lives of our customers in Japan and worldwide.

The world’s No. 1 green tea beverage brand, "Oi Ocha"

Oi Ocha, our flagship brand and the world’s No. 1 unsweetened green tea beverage brand, celebrated its 35th anniversary in February 2024 and has sold more than 43 billion bottles (*1) since its launch in 1989.

Tea has permeated our lives as a communication tool that connects people to each other, and is a familiar drink that is referred to as an everyday staple. Since its predecessor product, the world’s first green tea drink, "Sencha in a can," was launched in 1985, the "Oi Ocha" brand has continued to grow based on our technological capabilities to evolve with the changing drinking styles of the times and our ability to procure high-quality raw materials (tea leaves) through initiatives such as the tea production area cultivation business. Overseas, the value of "Oi Ocha" has been well received, and the number of customers (fans) who enjoy drinking it is steadily increasing in North America, Southeast Asia, and other regions. As of March 2024, it was sold in more than 40 countries and territories.

(*1) Certified by Guinness™ World Records
Intage SRI+ unsweetened tea beverage market data, January–December 2023 sales of "Oi Ocha" brand
Record name: Largest unsweetened green tea beverage brand (latest annual sales) Official English record name: Largest unsweetened green tea RTD brand – retail, current Recorded brand: Oi Ocha brand (excluding Oi Ocha hojicha products)
Target year: January – December 2023
500 ml PET bottle equivalent

 

Source : World-Famous Japanese Green Tea Brand Signs Up Baseball Super-Star as Ambassador

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