Bilingual talent is in high demand as the sporting world’s eyes turn toward Japan

Posted by in Asia, Career Advice, Japan, Yusuke Isoda

With the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympics on the horizon, the world’s biggest sports businesses are on the hunt for Japanese candidates and those who boast language skills and experience in related industries, says Consultant for Japan Yusuke Isoda in an interview with SRi.

To read a Japanese language version of this article, please click here.

SRi: You recently joined SRi after a number of years for a Tokyo-based recruitment specialist, what are your ambitions for SRi in Japan?

Yusuke Isoda: “As a passionate sports fan, I’m thrilled to be able to help build SRi’s presence in Japan with major world events like the Rugby World Cup and Olympics on the horizon. It’s a tremendously exciting time for the Japanese sports industry, and with the world’s eyes turning to Japan there are a wealth of incredible opportunities for candidates.

“SRi continues to grow and now boasts offices all over the world from London and Lausanne, to Australia, Singapore, New York and more. Although we are just at the beginning of our journey in Japan, I’m confident that our unique approach will give us a solid platform for success.”

SRi: Why should candidates look closely at the sports industry in Japan when considering their next career move?

YI: “The sports industry in Japan is booming and is expected to treble in size over the next few years. What’s more, the wider sports industry now includes a variety of roles that didn’t exist just a few years ago and cuts across publishing, digital, content and technology disciplines.

“Whereas in years past some candidates might not have considered moving into the field, the sports industry has fundamentally changed. The demand for candidates of the highest calibre has seen some of the best and brightest talent join sports-based companies directly from the likes of Facebook, Google, Twitter and other technology, publishing and media giants.

“Bilingual Japanese candidates are in huge demand at the moment and those with the right experience can build an outstanding career in the sports industry, especially with global companies building their Japanese presence ahead of the Rugby World Cup and Olympics.”

SRi: What kinds of experience and abilities do candidates need to be attractive to the global sports industry?

YI: “You don’t have to have a glittering amateur career in sports to work in the sports industry. A passion for sports is great to have of course, but the sports industry is more interested in the relevant experience candidates can bring to their organisations.

“In particular, Japanese candidates who are bilingual and are confident and comfortable working for global organisations are in demand. Digital experience is keenly sought, and talent not currently working in sports but in related fields such as content, marketing, sales, commercial, marketing partnerships, publishing and broadcasting will be at the front of the queue.”

SRi: What does the future hold for the sports industry in Japan?

YI: “The sports industry in Japan will go from strength to strength in the coming decade and will provide the right talent with immensely rewarding and outstanding careers full of international opportunities for many years to come.

“If you share our excitement about a career in the sports industry and want to be part of its exciting growth phase in Japan, please get in touch.”

Yusuke Isoda is a consultant for SRi, an international management consultancy and executive search company specialising in the sports, media and entertainment market.

To find out more about SRi’s Japanese capability or to have a confidential discussion, please contact Yusuke Isoda here.