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USA Today via Reuters

The moment Shohei Ohtani left the Los Angeles Angels, one knew that the clock was ticking for multiple sponsor deals. Even though most of them were attached to Shotime, the Halos did earn a substantial amount from it. But while the Halos did earn their share, now that one looks at the Los Angeles Dodgers incredible brand deals, their share looks quite small. So what is it that the Dodgers did that turned Ohtani into an even bigger marketing tool?

While it may be a little unfair to completely compare the two teams (the Blue Crew also has Yoshinobu Yamamoto in it), it does make for an interesting study. After all, the Halos had Ohtani for a long time but despite that, they never became a global presence. However, in stark contrast, the Dodgers have almost immediately catapulted themselves into a global powerhouse courtesy of Shohei Ohtani. Is it some strategy or is it just a result of a perfect match?

Why the Angels couldn’t take advantage of the two-way phenom

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Even before Shohei Ohtani’s arrival, the Los Angeles Dodgers were arguably the biggest team on the West Coast. According to Forbes, in 2023 the Dodgers were valued at $4.8 billion. That number has skyrocketed to $5.45 billion since then. In comparison, the Angels currently sit at $2.7 billion. That’s almost a 2X difference in values and that’s where the prime difference comes into play.

During his six years in the Anaheim Angels, at least 22 brands had a partnership with Shohei Ohtani (per Orange County Register). Overall the superstar was earning around $50 million from just endorsements while playing for a team that couldn’t even have a winning record. So is it a surprise that the Angels couldn’t completely take advantage of Ohtani’s brand potential?

Despite Ohtani’s individual brilliance, the Halos’ overall lack of success did hamper their potential. More importantly, unlike the Los Angeles Dodgers  – the Halos actually aren’t from Los Angeles. They are from Anaheim and that market is not as big as LA. In short, even if you have the exterior of a Ferrari with you, if your engine is from some inferior brand – you won’t win the race. But then the Dodgers don’t suffer from any of these issues.

Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Dodgers – a powerhouse match

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The Dodgers recently announced a deal with the Japanese brand THK. That is not even close to the only deal they’ve signed. A few days ago, they announced a deal with the Kinoshita Group and Kose. Nearly every other week the Blue Crew is getting bigger and bigger Japanese brands to partner up with them. Part of the reason is the presence of Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto but the Dodgers too are responsible for some of it.

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The Los Angeles Dodgers have been a part of every playoff since 2012. This is a team that signifies winning and success. They’re second only to the New York Yankees when it comes to franchise value. So here, the exterior of Ferrari has met the engine of Ferrari – that’s a recipe for success. Add to that, the huge business savviness of their ownership – the Dodgers’ value has risen from $2 billion when they bought them in 2012 to the current $5.45 billion.

In short, the long-term planning of the Dodgers has paid off royally for them with Shohei Ohtani – that’s something that the Angels haven’t done in a long time.