February 14, 13 | Takako Chiba
One day out of the blue our Hokkaido Likers editorial department got a call from the Hokkaido Nippon- Ham Fighter’s mascot, BB.
“I’ve got some news I hope you’ll make sure to tell all your Hokkaido Likers fans. We’re working on a project to boost Hokkaido’s athletic spirit!”
The baseball season isn’t supposed to start until spring. A little skeptical about what BB was talking about, I headed to the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighter’s office, located next to Sapporo Dome. BB himself came out to greet me.
▲ ”Welcome to the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighter’s Headquarters!” said BB.
There are three types of sports fans: players, watchers, and supporters. Through sports, the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters maintain the idea of a ‘Sports Community’ by energizing the people of Hokkaido and providing opportunities for cultural exchange and social connections.
▲Continuing my talk with BB.
“As part of this “Energizing Hokkaido Through Sports” plan, we started a collaboration project with professional basketball team, Levanga Hokkaido.”
▲ Takehiko Orimo (left) and Sakurai Ryouta (right), of Levanga Hokkaido
So what exactly is this collaboration project all about?
BB said, “Polly (the female mascot of the Fighters) and I rush into the grounds to get everyone pumped up!”
“For those that are “watching” fans of the Fighters or the Levanga, we want them to get excited and really enjoy Hokkaido’s professional sports.”
▲ On February 16th, BB and Polly will make an appearance together to get the audience of the Levanga Hokkaido game fully charged.
The Hokkaido Levanga are fighting hard this season. On Saturday they will face the All-Japan champions, Panasonic Trians. The Trians are sure to give the Levanga a run for their money, but with BB and Polly to get everyone excited, the supportive crowd is sure to help the Levanga seal a victory.
2013 marks ten years since the foundation of the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters Team. To celebrate this, the 10th Season Project will send players to visit 179 towns acting as ambassadors to each town or city.
BB kindly talked to me about all of their exciting events. “We’ve got a lot of different activities happening now, so please check them out,” said BB before saying goodbye.
■ Levanga Hokkaido x Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters Collaboration
Levanga Hokkaido vs. Panasonic Trians
Saturday, Feb. 16 - 18:00 TIP OFF
Sunday, Feb. 17 - 14:00 TIP OFF
Venue: Hokkaido Kitaeru
■ Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighers Facebook
■ Levanga Hokkaido Facebook
■ Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters 10th Season Project
( Hokkaido Likers Writer – Chiba Takako )
** ALL PHOTOGRAPHY 北海道日本ハムファイターズ(C) HOKKAIDO NIPPON-HAM FIGHTERS レバンガ北海道(C) LEVANGA HOKKAIDO