“Premier12” – The biggest international baseball event in recent history
The success and excitement of the 2019 Premier12 have set the stage for a massive spectacle and worldwide spotlight on baseball at the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan, where baseball is king of sports content.
Leaders at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) were predicting the 2019 WBSC Premier12 would be the “the biggest and most important international baseball event in recent history” and it didn’t disappoint.
With over 300,000 fans in attendance over 32 games, the second edition of the major international baseball tournament, which brings together the world’s 12 best-ranked baseball nations every four years, saw Japan cement their status as the top-ranked baseball nation in the world.
Samurai Japan, a National Team powered by Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) stars and MVP Seiya Suzuki, topped rivals and defending champions Korea in the final at the Tokyo Dome before a crowd of 44,960.
The announcement of Japan as the new Premier12 champions smashed the record for WBSC’s most viral tweet, surpassing the previous record set in 2016 when WBSC tweeted that Olympic baseball and softball would make a historic return at the Tokyo 2020 Games (approximately 10k retweets).
In addition to the worldwide exposure generated, over 5 million USD in prize money was distributed to the 12 teams/national federations, which had a global footprint spanning the North, South and the Caribbean (Canada, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, USA and Venezuela), Asia (Chinese Taipei, Korea and Japan), Europe (Netherlands) and Oceania (Australia).
Atsunori Inaba, a former star player and the current Samurai Japan manager, added: “I’m looking forward to seeing the Premier12 develop into a real World Championship and become the number one priority of baseball players.”