The business of Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani is an MVP candidate on the field, and his new exclusive memorabilia deal with Fanatics reflects his exploding off-field value.

By the numbers: Ohtani’s $6 million in annual endorsements is already tops in MLB, per Forbes, thanks to his two-way stardom and popularity in two of the world’s biggest markets.

  • Merchandise: 28% of All-Star sales last week in Denver comprised Ohtani merchandise.
  • Trading cards: Through mid-June, his trading card value had the highest year-to-date return of any athlete.
  • Social media: He’s one of just a handful of active MLB players with over 1 million Instagram followers.

Between the lines: Ohtani’s perch atop MLB’s endorsement pecking order could be even higher, but he’s known to be über-conscious of limiting any distractions that might get in the way of baseball.

  • “I believe Ohtani could make as much money as Ichiro or Matsuyama if he wants to,” says Tomoya Suzuki, president of Japanese sports marketing firm Trans…

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