Some news and notes from July 24, 2012:
- The NPB will try to persuade the JPBPA into participating the WBC with their Samurai Japan model, which could provide another form of sponsorship/merchandising revenue in between tournaments. Japan may also be able to claim merchandising revenue during the WBC, provided they do not use the WBC logo or any other symbols/phrases connected to the WBC. There are some potential pitfalls with the model though. Unless Japan competes in the upcoming tournament, the NPB will not have a chance to sell Samurai Japan and make it a marketable brand. Even then, sponsors may not be willing to pay a lot of money without the direct connections to the WBC. Problems in semantics could also arise.
- Again, the JPBPA is not happy with how WBC Inc owns rights for all sponsorship/merchandising opportunities. They are also not happy with the Samurai Japan model because it does not address the situation and simply provides a workout that may not even work very well.
- Kei Igawa's thoughts on the WBC, via Sanspo: "The WBC is not very popular [in the US]. There are a lot of good players that do not participate. The timing is bad as well. Everyone is paying attention to college basket, which is equivalent to Japan's [summer] Koshien." And via Sports Hochi Osaka: "There is not much interest [in the WBC in America]. Some Dominican players [I know] even spoke about how they drank too much before WBC games. ... There are better players than those that make the US National Team."