NJPW is reaching outside very quickly.
During May of this year it was announced by Tokyo Sports that former CEO of 'TOMY' Harold Meij was going to be assuming the position as the new head honcho of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Meij officially began his role as President of the company last month and with one full month under his belt he did an interview with 'The Mainichi' which is a major Japanese news outlet.
While discussing a number of different topics the conversation turned to NJPW's streaming service NJPW World. The service was launched in 2014 and provides subscribers with the opportunity to view live New Japan shows, and matches dating back to the early 70's when the company was first founded. Harold Meij went on to share that NJPW World is nearing 100,000 subscribers and 40,000 of those subs do not reside in Japan.
"My thinking hasn't changed since my time at Takara Tomy. I want to expand the fan-base regardless of age, gender or nationality," Meij explains. "New Japan has fantastic content, so it has the possibility of picking up popularity overseas. At the moment, there are some 100,000 registered members on our video streaming service 'New Japan Pro-Wrestling World,' and 40,000 of them live outside Japan. I would like to aim for the international market with things like videos in English or events for foreign tourists."
Stars such as the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega is the face of NJPW's expansion into other markets and while converting the company into an international supernova is Kenny Omega's goal, Harold Meij's goal is to become a pioneer in sports marketing and to bring NJPW 10 billion yen in at least three years.
"Even though there are a plethora of markets abroad, many Japanese companies aren't making any use of them. As someone not bound by language or cultural barriers, I would like to become a pioneer in sports marketing." Meij also promised, "In three years at least, I will achieve profits of 10 billion yen. The figure is close to the 10.2 billion yen made by the Japan Sumo Association in 2016." He continued, "I will continue to show up at more and more matches, because I have to judge the reactions of the fans for myself. To that end, I will speak with fans whenever I have the chance."
NJPW has an event this upcoming Saturday at the 'Cow Palace' in San Francisco. To view the match card for the G1 Special, click here.