NKC Survey Demonstrates Sports Marketing Potential of International Youth Baseball Tokyo–June 10, 2004

Tokyo–June 10, 2004

Nagase Kenko Corporation (NKC) is proud to release the results of a recent survey it commissioned detailing the views and perceptions of 71 targeted league representatives, coaches, distributors, parents, journalists and other individuals with an involvement in international youth baseball.

To download a free report detailing key findings of the NKC International Youth baseball survey, please visit:

Key conclusions include:

• There is a growing interest in Youth Baseball around the world and the enthusiasm of leagues, teams and coaches is evident in the high response rate and comments generated by this survey;

• While the receipt of responses from 21 countries should be seen as a great success, the absence of participation from key baseball countries, including Japan, the Dominican Republic and other economies is evidence of both the need to conduct future research in a multilingual framework and that the data generated is reflective of only a small portion of the potential that exists;

• There is little connection among baseball-related entities — which exist on every continent — and there is a critical need to develop synergies and linkages and to sustain emerging momentum — particularly in developing countries and other economies where participation has not yet reached critical mass;

• Potential activities include, but are not limited to, the development of national, regional and global tournaments, sponsorship, sales/marketing promotions, exchange and other relevant programs; and

• Globally-oriented corporations and other entities can leverage off this nascent trend and utilize it to enhance their marketing, corporate citizenship and public affairs strategies — to build good will and closer relationships with consumer audiences, employees, business partners and other key constituencies around the world.

“The responses generated in this survey reinforces the high level of interest we had suspected among youth baseball leagues in learning more about, and interacting with, their counterparts from around the world”, notes Keith W. Rabin, President of KWR International, Inc., a consulting firm that conducted this research on behalf of NKC. “We were especially surprised, however, to learn of the rising importance of travel teams and to find out that 60% of the respondents had traveled overnight and a third internationally to participate in baseball games.”

“NKC invites inquiries from companies interested in incorporating International Youth Baseball within their marketing, corporate citizenship, and public affairs programs”, comments Yasuhiko Nagase, Executive Vice President of NKC. “We are also interested in hearing from leagues, teams, coaches, players, sporting goods companies and other potential alliance partners with an interest in promoting greater participation in youth sports and baseball around the world.”

Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Nagase Kenko Corporation is a global, multi-line sporting goods company. In addition to its AirSafety and Universal Regulation baseballs, NKC markets a wide range of sporting good products and services through its Team Sports and Tennis, Sports Flooring and Gymnastics Equipment and International Sales and Marketing divisions.

Presently employing a staff of over 250 individuals, NKC maintains four Japanese manufacturing facilities and three regional sales offices in Osaka, Fukuoka and Hokkaido. It also maintains a growing network of agents, distributors and representatives who help to manage its international sales and marketing and promotional activities.

For more information on NKC, Kenko products, services and sports marketing programs, please visit http://www.kenkobaseball.com