MetLife Changes Yankee Stadium Outfield Sign to Appeal to Japanese Audience

Insurer knows baseball is big in Japan

What do the New York Yankees and Japan have in common?

Well, there’s definitely baseball, to which many international fans, as well as new pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and players Hiroki Kuroda and Ichiro Suzuki, can attest. Also, MetLife.

The insurer has been a major supporter of the Yankees for the past seven years, via its right-center-field sign and various other efforts, including the Yankee “Player of the Month” award. And now the sign has become multilingual, spelling MetLife in both English and Japanese.

The international nod comes partly because of MetLife’s four-decade presence in Japan.

“The sign … showcases the importance of the Japanese audience. It also demonstrates MetLife’s dedication to its Japanese business,” said Dan Pincus, MetLife’s assistant vp for sponsorship and promotions, noting that Japan is “one of the company’s most important markets, as it is the number two foreign insurer for total sales, with 10,500 retail stores, and the number one in foreign currency fixed annuities.”

The latest marketing push also aims to showcase the importance of the Japanese-American baseball fan base, generating exposure for the company in both the United States and Japan.

“We are actively searching for ways to target our audience by building campaigns to promote the brand globally. The new sign is part of the world-class global initiative, aiming to unite MetLife as the leading global life insurance and employee benefits company,” Pincus said. “This is one example of a specific sponsorship that allows us to leverage a U.S. partner in a key international market.”

In addition to the new sign, MetLife has purchased home plate rotational advertising with the Yankees for away games, which will run at the bottom of the inning while Tanaka and Kuroda are pitching at approximately 30-35 games in various markets over the course of the season.

Publish date: April 10, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT