During a press conference overnight, New Japan Pro Wrestling announced the company’s expansion into the United States with New Japan Pro Wrestling of America.
Here are some notes from NJPW’s English language Twitter account:
[CEO Takami Obari]: There is plenty still to be undertaken when it comes to furthering the brand in the US. Fans though, have a very close association to talent and core concepts of strong style, as evidenced by market research in Dallas.
Obari: Live events will be an important basis of New japan of America. It is important that fans get close to our wrestlers and see our wrestling close-up.
Obari: What fans in America value is the NJPW brand and concept, and the style of wrestling that represents. The NJPW brand is important, hence the name of New Japan of America.
Obari: There is absolutely no plans to sell the Japanese market short. An office in the US allows for better talent relations in the US, and allows talent to further our brand within the American market, while allowing American fans to more easily support the brand.
Obari on key differences between US and Japanese markets: America is skewed more toward male fans, and they consume content digitally as opposed to through TV.
In the immediate future, US tours will take place while the Japanese schedule is between tours, but there may be cases where tours run simultaneously, with talent schedules an important factor.
Obari: The plan will be to broadcast American events live on World wherever possible. Where that isn’t feasible, they will be available VOD on delay.
Obari: 2020 schedules are still being considered, but there could be as many as double the 2019 slate of 12-13 events. There will not be a reduction in the number of Japanese events.
Obari: We have worked well with AXS TV, and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Other partnerships may be something we can discuss and consider as we move forward.
Obari: We’re currently running and looking at venues in the 2000 seat range, that may be lower depending on circumstances. We are a live event company, and the first priority of a live event company is to run in more venues. Once people are in those venues, then we can fire them up and have them ready to spread the word to larger and larger audiences. First though, it’s about growing the number rather than the size of venues. The long term plan will absolutely be to run big venues on a regular basis.
Check out NJPW of America's touring plans!
We hope to reach at least 70% of our American fanbase with an event near you very soon, and we'll put all we have into making it 100%!
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) October 21, 2019