The Best Way to Attract Female Fans to Yakyuu is to Manga-fy the Players
The Yokahama Baystars are trying to reach a new (likely, female) audience with their latest piece of PR work: take the professional Japanese Central League players and manga-fy them for advertisements. In this shojo-style piece published by the Baystars, fans of the baseball team can enjoy their semi-celebrity players in an entirely new cute-ified style.
This addition is part of the YOKOHAMA☆GIRLS FESTIVAL 2015, and it features eight players from the team: Taiki Sekine, Hiroyuki Shirasaki, Takayuki Kajitani, Takehiro Ishikawa, Yasuaki Yamasaki, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, Kazuki Mishima, and Sho Aranami. The full spread includes all them striking a glamorous pose:
This marketing ploy was like created to attract a new and younger female audience to the Central League, which is mostly supported by the players, their families, and girlfriends. How do you make yakyuu relevant? Introduce it to the world of kawaii, of course! And while we’re not sure if re-branding real grizzly players as cute manga is most effective approach, we’re certainly not complaining.