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NJPW President Harold Meij Discusses Wanting to Expand the Promotion’s Fanbase, Aiming for the International Market, and His Short-Term Goals

July 1, 2018 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
NJPW - New Japan Pro Wrestling, El Phantasmo, Harold Meij

Mainichi recently interviewed new NJPW President Harold Meij, who discussed some of his goals for the promotion and wanting to expand the global fanbase. Below are some highlights.

Harold Meij on becoming NJPW president: “I think there are long-time fans that must be worrying, ‘What? The operator is a foreigner? What’s going to happen?’ Because I look like a foreigner, you know? They worry that New Japan might change. I wanted to come myself as the President and talk with the fans to alleviate any anxiety they might have.”

Meij on how he wants to expand the fanbase and NJPW World: “My thinking hasn’t changed since my time at Takara Tomy. I want to expand the fanbase regardless of age, gender or nationality. New Japan has fantastic content, so it has the possibility of picking up popularity overseas. At the moment, there are some 100,000 registered members on our video streaming service ‘New Japan Pro-Wrestling World,’ and 40,000 of them live outside Japan. I would like to aim for the international market with things like videos in English or events for foreign tourists.”

His short-term goals: “Even though there are a plethora of markets abroad, many Japanese companies aren’t making any use of them. As someone not bound by language or cultural barriers, I would like to become a pioneer in sports marketing. In three years at least, I will achieve profits of 10 billion yen [$90.4 million]. I will continue to show up at more and more matches, because I have to judge the reactions of the fans for myself. To that end, I will speak with fans whenever I have the chance.”