NJPW CEO Harold Meij spoke with the Public Relations Office (Government of Japan) about working for NJPW, international fans' impact on the company, and NJPW becoming more popular within Japan's culture. Here are some of the highlights:
Why he joined up with NJPW:
"As a child, I could easily enjoy pro wrestling on TV because it did not require any linguistic knowledge and was a source of great entertainment. Several years ago I began going to New Japan Pro-Wrestling matches as a fan. I accepted this position because I was intrigued by moving from a business of 'things' to one of 'experiences,' and would be able to use my business skills in a field I find fun."
Believing NJPW has the potential to become more ingrained with the culture in Japan:
"The strong point of pro wrestling is that it is not just a sport, but rather an encompassing experience. Every time a wrestler does a grand move, they change the atmosphere of the stadium and the crowd cheers for their favorite wrestler. When their favorite wrestlers win, there is a rush of applause, when there are foul moves the fans get angry, and when they lose they cry and get upset."
How the company is expanding globally and foreign fans' influence:
"We have over 100,000 subscribers on our video channel, and almost fifty percent of them are outside of Japan. When foreign subscribers visit Japan and attend a New Japan Pro-Wrestling match, they tend to share their experience on social media. So that more people get a deeper understanding of the sport and connect with the wrestlers, we put matches up on YouTube, including videos of the wrestlers themselves, their training scenes and videos of matches with English-language versions of the stirring, perfectly-timed announcements made by the Japanese pro-wrestling announcers."
Meij also discussed more of career before joining with NJPW. You can check out the full interview by clicking here.