Dodgers to Host VTuber Gawr Gura at Dodger Stadium

The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of MLB’s most iconic franchises, boasting nearly 200 years of history, 24 National League pennants, and seven World Series titles. In Los Angeles County and much of Southern California, the Dodgers’ brand is exceptionally strong, beloved by people of all ages and backgrounds.

This recognition extends across the country and even globally. When the Dodgers signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani to a 10-year, $700 million contract during the offseason, they aimed to convert an entire country into Dodgers fans, much like they did with the Mexican-American community in Los Angeles through Fernando Valenzuela and the Japanese community with Hideo Nomo.

However, it’s been many years since Nomo debuted with the Dodgers, and marketing strategies have evolved in the digital age. The team’s latest attempt at forging connections in the Japanese market involves VTuber Gawr Gura, who will deliver the ceremonial announcement of “It’s Time for Dodger Baseball!” before Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers, according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times.

For the uninitiated, a VTuber is a streamer who uses a virtual avatar instead of their own face on platforms like YouTube. This collaboration is mutually beneficial: the Dodgers gain exposure in an industry with a large Japanese audience, while the Japanese company behind Gawr Gura’s avatar showcases their product to new, diverse demographics.

The Dodgers have already seen a return on their investment in Ohtani, with increased attention from Japanese media and sponsors this season. But this collaboration with Gawr Gura has the potential to be even more impactful.

Earlier in the week, the Dodgers celebrated Japanese Heritage Night, which was a huge success with a sellout crowd, their ninth of the 2024 season. Before the game, the MLB Hall of Fame and Museum held a press conference at Dodger Stadium to unveil artifacts for their Transpacific Baseball exhibit, including donations from Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Ohtani.

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