Yoshi Okamoto's reputation as one of the most innovative and successful sports marketers out of Japan is well earned. He played baseball in high school catching for Hiroshi Yagi (former Hanshin Tigers pitcher) and went on the manager of the baseball team at Chuo University and worked alongside head coach Masanari Miyai, who coached Sadaharu Oh when he was in high school. Working along Miyai, Yoshi became acquainted with Eiichiro Yamamoto (President of Japan Amateur Baseball Union) and did managerial jobs at the Japan Amateur Baseball Union and the Japan College Baseball Union while attending college. After graduating from college, he felt a strong need for English language skills in consideration of his future career and decided to study English in Canada although he had job offerings from front offices of pro baseball teams in Japan. In February of 1989, he starts working as a member of the front office of the 1A Salinas Spurs. He did every operation possible from sales to sponsorships and took care of Japanese players and the manager. At the age of 24, in his second year at the Spurs, he became the General Manager of the team. No other Japanese has ecome a GM in the 4 major sports leagues of the U.S. until this day. In January of 1991, Yoshi took on a position at the 3A Portland Beavers as Director of Marketing and Promotions. During his time there, he took attention of the fact that Portland and the city of Sapporo in Japan were sister cities and established a little league baseball exchange program between the cities. This program is still being continued today.

At the office of 1A Salinas Spurs

At the office of 1A Salinas Spurs

  • With Barry Bonds, Home Run king of the year 2001. (1992)

    With Barry Bonds,
    Home Run king of the year 2001. (1992)(1992年)

  • With Cal Ripken Jr., the world record holder of 2632 consecutive games played. (1995)

    With Cal Ripken Jr.,
    the world record holder of 2632 consecutive games played. (1995)

  • At the office of 3A Portland Beavers.

    At the office of 3A Portland Beavers.


"Yoshi's next stop was at Walt Disney’s Anaheim Mighty Ducks, who headhunted him in March of 1993. This was the moment that a Japanese became a full-time staff of a major sports team for the first time. His main job with the Mighty Ducks was taking care of sponsorship deals with Japanese companies and this was when Yoshinoya's meat bowls were first sold in stadiums.
Soon after he moved to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, he was headhunted by the New Jersey Nets in August of that same year and became the International Marketing Director. Working alongside the famous sports marketer, Jon Spoelstra, Yoshi was successful with obtaining many sponsorship deals with Japanese companies such as Minolta, Konica, Nissan, Aiwa, Casio, Brother, Sharp, Zebra, Maxell, and Subaru."

At the age of 30, In November of 1995, he became independent. In 1996, he supported the National Baseball Team of Japan participating at the Olympics in Atlanta. As part of supporting the team, he organized a historical pre-season match between the Japan National Team and the Minnesota Twins that was broadcasted, and this caught the eyes of many front office people in Japan.
Today, he is working as a sports marketing consultant in both Japan and the U.S. using his wide connections in the U.S. sports business world and also continues his position as the Pacific Director of the Minnesota Twins for many years.


At the 1996 MLB All-Star game in Denver.
From the right, Bobby Brett,Japan Amateur Baseball Association President Eiichiro Yamamoto, and George Brett who collected over 3000 hits and 300 home runs during his career in the Major Leagues.

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    The 1996 Atlanta Olympics Japan Baseball Team.
    At an event after the Olympics at Akita.
    (Okamoto: Upper Right Corner )

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    "November 1999, NBA season opener game
    at the Tokyo Dome.
    Interview with Minnesota Timberwolves
    Kevin Garnett after the game.

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    ith his friend Tsuyoshi Shinjo
    (former San Francisco Giants)