What can we learn from the 29 years old Japanese competition and their clubs?

Traditionally, Japan has been one of the strong countries in global women’s football. The Asian national team conquered the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2011, beating United States in penalties (3-1) and lost against them in the final of 2015 World Cup celebrated in Canada. Reaching two consecutives finals says a lot about them, especially their top player Homare Sawa that, along with the Brazilian star Formiga, set the record of appearing in six World Cups, a feat never achieved before by either female or male players.

Regarding sponsorship, the Food sector accounts for 50% of clubs’ main sponsors, being a sponsor of the Japanese National Association as well. It’s also worth mentioning the presence of media and TV channels as Nippon Television and TVK Yokohama as main sponsors of two clubs, NTV Beleza and Stella Kanagawa. 

Social Media works differently, as some clubs are still developing these areas or at least building these channels exclusively for their women’s teams. According to Statista, in 2017, the social media platforms with the highest user activity were Youtube (70%), Line (54%) and Twitter (45%). As a competition, Nadeshiko League 1 is present on Facebook and Twitter with 79,385 and 239,000 followers respectively. Regarding clubs, only Vegalta Sendai Ladies and Inac Kobe use Twitter or Instagram, averaging a total of 11,325 followers.

The league is composed by the following 10 teams:

  • Vegalta Sendai Ladies
  • Urawa Reds
  • Jef United
  • NTV Beleza
  • Nittaidai Ladies
  • Stella Kanagawa
  • Albirex Niigata Ladies
  • Parceiro AC Nagano Ladies
  • Cerezo Sports Club
  • Inac Kobe

Photo: Eurosport Asia

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