Swallows for Sale?

Rikidozan's connection to this story is tangential, but rad.

Could #2 on the Tsubamegun‘s perennial wishlist come to fruition? Depends on how you see fervent denials.

Jiji reported today that Susume Fujita, CEO of online ad agency CyberAgent, firmly denied that his firm had any plans to purchase the Swallows or that he had been approached by Yakult with such an offer. He also said that he admired the success of Rakuten and SoftBank in owning baseball teams and had thought of the possibility of CyberAgent doing the same, but purely as a conjecture, not as a concrete plan or ambition. On the other hand, if a team were to approach him with a sales proposition, he would think about it.

Fujita went on to say that, while he happy with his company’s operating profit of around ¥10 billion, he would need two or three times that amount before he’d feel comfortable in having the cash to run a pro baseball team.

Yakult’s CEO also issued a flat denial and then issued some platitudes about trying to win, etc., which will presumably continue to not include actually doing things that would increase the chances of winning.

In a somewhat interesting, if tortured and confusing connection, it appears that there once worked for Yakult a man named Ogizono, who ran a division that broke away from the parent company and then used his influence to back a person or group that pushed the family of the late Rikidozan, possibly the most influential sporting figure in any country ever (it would not be specious to credit him with a fair bit of Japan’s postwar economic growth, at least indirectly), off the land in Shibuya on which Riki Sports Palace stood until 1967, a plot that has, since 1992, been the site of the Humax Building, which currently hosts the headquarters of a firm founded in 1998 known as CyberAgent.

Do I hear a curse of Rikidozan, anyone? (No, it wouldn’t make any sense at all, but it would sound awesome.)

Anywho, the actual news is that  both CyberAgent and Yakult firmly deny spurious rumors that there has been any talk of the Swallows being for sale.

Non-news that’s news.

  • Rikidozan! Too bad a bigger company with more cashflow isn’t interested