The Japanese Corporate Sports System: a Unique Style of Sports Promotion

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Abstract

While the organisation of sports in different countries is structured primarily on regional sports clubs, sports in Japan are based to a large extent on corporate sports. In corporate sports, Japanese companies are the owners of sports teams and their members must be employees of the company, meaning that the athletes work in addition to their sporting activities.

This article deals with the system of corporate sports, using the example of corporate judo teams. First, the author gives a detailed description of the corporate judo teams to show how the system works. The question is then posed why the corporate sports system still exists in judo while a large number of teams in many other sports have broken up since the 1990s, and the breakdown of the corporate sports system will be analysed.

Reasons for the preservation of the corporate sports system in judo were found in business relations, in the marketing of sports, in the organisation of sports in Japan and in the special importance of judo in that country. However, although the corporate sports system has been maintained in Japanese judo up to the present day, a trend towards a modern form of corporate sports can be seen.

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