Mazda sponsoring Japanese baseball all-star games

Are you paying attention? Because this could very well be the most important piece of automotive news we've reported since the couch-hauling Miata. Mazda is sponsoring this year's All-Star Games for the Japanese pro baseball league. Yes, you read that right.

Unlike the MLB All-Star Game, the Nippon Professional Baseball Association holds two or three all-star games, on different days, in different cities around Japan, giving local fans of the sport a better chance to see their favorite players in the ultimate exhibition showdown. We hear Mazda is considering promotions that could include renaming the fastball the "zoom-zoom ball" to boost attendance. But then, we hear a lot of things. Press release after the jump.

[Source: Mazda]

Mazda to Sponsor Japanese Pro Baseball's 2008 All-Star Games

HIROSHIMA, Japan-Mazda Motor Corporation has announced that it will be the main sponsor for two all-star games organized by the Nippon Professional Baseball Association in Japan. The Mazda all-star 2008 games will be played at the Kyocera Dome Osaka on July 31 and at Yokohama Stadium on August 1, 2008.

Why Mazda Will Sponsor These Games
Featuring team rosters comprised of marquee players from the Japanese pro baseball leagues, the all-star games have become a popular midsummer sporting event in Japan. Unlike the single all-star game held every year in the US by Major League Baseball, Japanese pro baseball all-stars play two or three games in different cities over a two or three day period.

Mazda decided to support the all-star games as the main sponsor to contribute to the further development of Japanese professional baseball, and because the games are wildly popular with Japanese people. The charm, dreams and emotions conjured up by viewing the all-star games are similar to those evoked by Mazda's Zoom-Zoom vehicles-cars that "look inviting to drive, are fun to drive, and make you want to drive them again." The Mazda Biante, the Hiroshima-based company's all-new minivan, will be the latest addition to Mazda's lineup in Japan when it goes on sale in summer 2008.

Event Details
An overview of the "Mazda All-Star Game 2008" events will be made in an official announcement from the event organizers on May 27, 2008.

Mazda will hold a variety of activities to support the all-star games. These activities include fan balloting for the all-star teams' player selection, which begins in late May and continues through to the "Mazda All-Star Game 2008" days on July 31 and August 1.

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