Gloops, a Japanese social application provider that develops and operates social applications for mobile phones, has been named the title sponsor for Japan Opening Series 2012. Major League Baseball will open its season in Tokyo for the fourth time when the Oakland Athletics take on the Seattle Mariners in the Gloops Japan Opening Series 2012, a two-game series March 28 and 29.
"We are very excited to have Gloops as a title sponsor for Japan Opening Series 2012. Gloops is a popular Japanese company that develops Major League Baseball-themed gaming applications," said Paul Archey, senior vice president, International Business Operations, Major League Baseball. "We look forward to working with Gloops on the highly-anticipated opening of the 2012 MLB season in Japan."
"We are delighted to have Gloops join us in bringing Major League Baseball to the great fans of Japan," said MLBPA Director of Business Affairs Timothy Slavin. "Gloops' support for the sport is truly appreciated, as is the support of the Boeing Company and all the sponsors involved in helping us kick off the 2012 MLB season in Tokyo."
As part of their title sponsorship deal, the Gloops event logo will appear on both team's batting helmets. Gloops will also be the sponsors of the Oakland Athletics jersey patch.
The Boeing Company, the world's leading aerospace company, has partnered with the event to sponsor the jersey patch for the Seattle Mariners. In addition, Boeing will sponsor a clinic for young ballplayers in Ishinomaki, Japan. A group of kids from the clinic will participate in a special pregame ceremony prior to the first game of the series. The Boeing Company is a longtime corporate partner of the Seattle Mariners, dating back to the franchise's inception in 1977. Each Mariners season, Boeing is the presenting sponsor of the annual Salute to Armed Forces Night and Salute to Kids. Boeing's logo is also prominently displayed on outfield wall signage at Safeco Field, the Mariners home ballpark.
Uniform patches are commonly used throughout international leagues and competitions. Previous Opening Series in Japan as well as other international events such as the World Baseball Classic, have featured jersey and helmet patches.
In addition to Gloops and Boeing, a number of corporations including Bank of America, Lawson Ticket, SANKYO and Sato Pharmaceutical and Ito Ham, sponsor of the Fighting Spirit Award, have reached sponsorship deals for Gloops Japan Opening Series 2012.
Support for the two-game series is very strong as it took just nine hours for baseball fans in Tokyo, Japan to sell out Game 1 of the Gloops Japan Opening Series 2012. Game 2 of the series also sold out the Tokyo Dome which has a seating capacity of 46,000 for baseball games.
Gloops Japan Opening Series 2012 will mark the first MLB season opener in Japan since the Boston Red Sox and Athletics played at the Tokyo Dome in 2008.
Upon conclusion of Gloops Japan Opening Series 2012, the Mariners and Athletics will travel back to the United States to complete an abbreviated exhibition schedule before resuming their Championship Season schedules.
Organizers of Gloops Japan Opening Series 2012 include MLB, MLBPA, NPB and Yomiuri.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.