NEW BALANCE WELCOMES MLB SUPERSTAR SHOHEI OHTANI TO THE FAMILY
New Balance and Shohei come together to change the game and break barriers
Boston, MA – January 31, 2023 - Today, Two-Time MLB All-Star and 2021 American League MVP, Shohei Ohtani joins the New Balance family as part of a long-term deal. As one of the few two-way players to ever play the game, and only player to ever be named All-MLB First Team as a pitcher and a hitter (DH), Shohei and New Balance will build a relationship that celebrates breaking barriers and inspires the next generation of athletes around the world.
“As I continue my journey in baseball I am excited to join the New Balance family,” says Shohei. “New Balance is a global brand that is known for having incredible product innovation but also for being an authentic brand who allows their athletes to be themselves. I am excited to join with them to change the game.”
As the first athlete in the history of baseball to be named as a starting pitcher and leadoff hitter in the MLB All-Star game, Shohei is no stranger to doing things his way since the very beginning. Shohei was a powerhouse high school athlete and chose to stay in Japan for his first years as a professional, gaining several accolades, including five NPB All-Star selections and was crowned Japan Series Champion in 2016. Shohei signed an MLB contract in 2018, immediately making an impact and earning the American League Rookie of the Year Award. Entering his sixth year in the league, Shohei is often referred to as super-human and someone who is held in high regard for his dominance on the field but also for his gracious demeanor off the field.
“Shohei is a once-in-a-generation athlete who fits with our larger roster of athletes in their approach to their respective sports,'' says Neil Brooks, Head of Baseball Sports Marketing. “Shohei is never satisfied and is constantly pushing himself and his team to be better while letting his on-field performance speak for itself. We look forward to building the relationship and helping Shohei achieve his dreams and in the process truly change the game as we know it.”
New Balance will work with Shohei on a variety of campaigns across the brand, the first will be a special, limited-edition 574 Cleat, a new take on one of the brand’s classic models. This will represent the first time the iconic 574 model will appear on the field, bringing the culture of the ballpark and the fashion forward style together. The 574 Cleat matches up in pattern and aesthetic to the 574, however the cleat version includes changes to the interior that ensure this cleat is fit for the field and has all the fit, support and performance elements. The 574 Cleat will launch in February at www.newbalance.com with the suggested retail price starting at $120.
Shohei joins a stellar roster of athletes who are leaders in their respective sports such as Kawhi Leonard, Sydney McLaughlin, Coco Gauff, Raheem Sterling, Sadio Mane and more. The common thread throughout the New Balance roster of athletes is their ability push through physical limits and ensure a lasting impact within the world of sports but also in the communities in which they are a part.
About New Balance
New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA, has the following purpose: Independent since 1906, we empower people through sport and craftsmanship to create positive change in communities around the world. New Balance MADE U.S. footwear contains a domestic value of 70% or more. MADE makes up a limited portion of New Balance’s U.S. sales. New Balance owns five factories in New England and one in Flimby, U.K. New Balance employs more than 7,000 associates around the globe, and in 2021 reported worldwide sales of $4.4 billion. To learn more about New Balance, please visit www.newbalance.com and for the latest press information please visit http://newbalance.newsmarket.com.
Mary LawtonGlobal PR ManagerUnited Statesmary.firstname.lastname@example.org