« ガザの悲劇―いつまで放置するのだ | トップページ | 派遣切り拡大の衝撃―雇用を立て直す契機に »

2009年1月13日 (火)

企業とスポーツ―地域と連携し将来像を

2009/1/9

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 8(IHT/Asahi: January 9,2009)

EDITORIAL: Companies and sports

企業とスポーツ―地域と連携し将来像を

Sports cannot remain unaffected by the economic downturn, which has been described as unprecedented. Indeed, companies are increasingly withdrawing their sponsorships or closing down their sports teams.

 未曽有と形容される景気の悪化に、スポーツも無関係ではいられない。チームの運営や、スポンサーから手を引く企業が相次いでいる。 

In the slightly more than a decade since the collapse of the asset-inflated economic boom in the early 1990s, more than 300 corporate teams, including prestigious and powerful ones, have disappeared from such sports as baseball, track and field, rugby and volleyball.

 90年代のバブル経済の崩壊から10年余りの間に、野球、陸上、ラグビー、バレーなどの名門、強豪から300を優に超えるチームが消えた。 

Less than 10 years later, a bleak atmosphere is once again shrouding the corporate sports world.

 それから10年もたたないうちに再び荒涼とした光景が広がり始めている。 

In motor sports, Honda Motor Co. announced its withdrawal from Formula One racing. Suzuki Motor Corp. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the maker of Subaru cars, both announced their withdrawal from the FIA World Rally Championship. As a result, all Japanese cars will disappear from WRC competitions.

 モータースポーツではホンダがF1撤退を表明した。世界ラリー選手権からはスズキと、スバルの富士重工業が撤退を発表し、日本車はこのシリーズからすべて姿を消すことになる。 

Prince Hotels Inc., a Seibu Railway group company, also announced it will fold its distinguished ice hockey team after this season. Onward Holding Co., a major apparel group, will end its American football powerhouse with a nearly 30-year history at the conclusion of this season.

 アイスホッケーの名門、西武も今季限りでの解散を発表。アメリカンフットボールの強豪オンワードも、今季で30年近い歴史に幕を閉じる。 

Honda reportedly spends more than 50 billion yen a year to manage its F1 team. With so much money involved, the decision to withdraw is not unreasonable. On the other hand, some withdrawals and team closures are hard to understand.

 ホンダでいえばF1のチーム運営には年間500億円以上かかるという。撤退との経営側の決断にも無理からぬところはある。その一方、胸にすとんと落ちない撤退や休廃部もある。 

In the postwar era, companies started to support sports activities as part of employee benefit plans with the aim of improving worker morale. With high economic growth, corporate sports expanded and teams competed at the pinnacle of each sport.

 社員の士気高揚や福利厚生を目的に始まった戦後の企業スポーツは、高度経済成長とともに拡大・充実し、各競技の頂点を支える仕組みとなった。 

As a result, corporate sports later played the role of advertisers and promoters.

But the trend also served as the primer to push companies to close down sports teams with the burst of the asset-inflated economic bubble. This time, too, we suspect many companies cut their teams in the same way as they slashed their advertising budgets.

 結果として企業の広告、宣伝の色が強まり、それがバブル経済の崩壊による休廃部ラッシュの導火線にもなった。今回も広告費と同じように削られているケースが多いのではないか。 

Under these circumstances, a new trend is starting to emerge in the field.

 そんな状況のもと、現場では従来と違う流れが見え始めている。 

Bullseyes Tokyo, an American football team that will be promoted to the X League next season, has been calling on fans to become "citizen shareholders" in support of the club team. The citizen shareholders pay an annual membership fee of between several thousand yen and about 100,000 yen.

 アメリカンフットボールで来季のXリーグ昇格を決めたブルザイズ東京は、年間数千円から10万円程度の会費を負担する「市民株主」によるクラブづくりを進めてきた。

In American football in Japan, where the number of purely corporate-run teams continues to decline, the players themselves are starting to look for ways to run their teams.

純粋の企業チームが減り続けるこの競技では、選手側が新しい仕組みを模索し始めている。 

Measures are also emerging to give corporate sports a more amateur-oriented look, as in the past.

All players on the Kumamoto Golden Larks amateur baseball team, which is owned by a Kumamoto-based supermarket operator, work as sales clerks.

 かつてのアマチュア的な企業スポーツを再評価する動きも出てきた。社会人野球の熊本ゴールデンラークスは地元のスーパーマーケットが親会社だ。選手は全員が売り場に立つ。 

The move runs counter to the trend in which athletes employed by companies devote themselves entirely to athletic activities to compete at the higher levels of corporate sports. But members of the Kumamoto team do not have to worry about how to support themselves once they retire from baseball.

 競技のレベルが上がり、企業所属でも競技に専念する選手が増えてきた流れに逆行している。しかし、このチームの選手には現役引退後の不安がない。

In the three years since its establishment, the team has entered the Intercity Baseball Tournament for two straight years. The operator chose not to put the company's name on the uniforms because it wants the team to win over Kumamoto residents. Some shoppers are voluntarily forming fan groups.

創部3年で、すでに2年連続で都市対抗に出場。「県民に愛されるチームに」と企業名は外し、買い物客の勝手連的なファンも生まれている。 

Why not turn the current predicament into an opportunity to rebuild the relationship between sports, businesses and local communities?

 この苦境を、スポーツと企業と地域社会の関係を再構築する契機にしよう。

Cooperation with education should also be advanced to fill the demand for capable personnel. More universities in the last few years have established departments for the study of sports business and management.

人材も必要だろう。大学ではスポーツビジネスやマネジメントを学ぶ学科などが、ここ数年で急増している。教育との連携も大いに深めたい。 

However, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology oversees school and professional sports, while corporate sports come under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. It is time to remove administrative sectionalism and think about promoting sports as a whole.

 ところが行政は、学校・プロスポーツが文部科学省、企業スポーツは経済産業省と担当が分かれている。縦割り構造にメスを入れ、総合的なスポーツ振興を考えるべき時にきている。

|

« ガザの悲劇―いつまで放置するのだ | トップページ | 派遣切り拡大の衝撃―雇用を立て直す契機に »

04-英字新聞(朝日2)」カテゴリの記事

コメント

コメントを書く



(ウェブ上には掲載しません)




« ガザの悲劇―いつまで放置するのだ | トップページ | 派遣切り拡大の衝撃―雇用を立て直す契機に »