ANA to Be Official Japanese Airline of Shohei Ohtani’s LA Dodgers

REUTERS/Mike Blake
A giant mural of Shohei Ohtani is unveiled on the side of a hotel in Little Tokyo, a neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles, ahead of Shohei Ohtani’s opening game and season with his new team the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, California, U.S. March 27, 2024.

TOKYO (Reuters) – ANA Holdings said on Tuesday it reached a multi-year deal to be the official Japanese airline for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the new team of baseball star Shohei Ohtani.

Japan has been awash in Dodgers imagery and merchandise since national hero Ohtani signed a 10-year, $700 million contract with the team in December after six years with the Los Angeles Angels.

But Ohtani has an individual sponsorship deal with ANA competitor Japan Airlines (JAL). He gave a video address to new JAL employees on Monday.

ANA, Japan’s biggest airline, began non-stop service to Los Angeles in 1986 and now operates three round trips a day between Tokyo airports and the Californian metropolis, the company said.

The carrier will also collaborate with the Dodgers in celebrating Japanese culture at heritage nights events, according to a statement.

Ohtani won his second Most Valuable Player award last year after leading the American League with 44 home runs and notching 10 wins as a pitcher.

A 15-story mural of the new Dodgers star was unveiled in downtown Los Angeles last week.