The government will create an organization to head an initiative that turns college athletics into businesses. Experts will be recruited from university athletics departments as well as from various professional sports associations and student organizations. Sponsored by the government, they will act as consultants and advise schools on how best to increase the number of spectators and make profits, much like the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the U.S.
The initiative attempts to broaden business opportunities for the nation’s sports industry prior to the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. The government, led by the Sports Agency, will finalize a plan for the new organization before informing sports associations and universities.
The NCAA manages matches and competitions between member schools in various sports. It also holds broadcasting rights for those events. The new Japanese organization will begin by helping universities increase the number of spectators and introducing the schools to businesses that are interested in sponsoring events.
In Japan, college sporting events are managed individually by region and by event. Promotion of these events is largely the responsibility of educational institutions, while the business potential has been largely unexplored.
The government has a goal for the sports industry to grow into a 15 trillion-yen market by 2025, roughly three times the current market size. The participation of college athletics in business ventures is expected to help the nation achieve this goal by providing a broader base for the industry.