Japanese web platform lets fans send gifts to college sports teams


sashiire-waseda-rugbyPhoto via Sashiire

Sports fans usually show support for a team simply by cheering. But here in Japan, there is a mechanism that lets enthusiastic fans to do something more. Sashiire is a platform that allows fans and supporters to give sports-related gifts to college sport teams. This act is called ‘sashiire’, and the platform was first launched back in October of 2010. To date 180 teams from 48 universities have joined up, including one of the most prestigious universities in Japan, Waseda university, which leverages the platform for all of its 44 sports teams.

On Sashiire, fans can start by choosing their favorite team, and then choose the item they want to send. There are over 60 items available on site including protein, supplements, healthy snacks, and even sportswear, and payment can be made either by bank transfer or credit card. The gift will be sent directly to the sport team with a message of support from that fan. Many users on Sashiire are alumni from those same teams.

The platform was launched by Daigaku Sports Channel to create a better overall environment for college sports teams, lending them a helping hand. Funding or support provided from universities can sometimes be scarce, and many students juggle their sport and a part-time job in order to purchase their equipment. Compared to professional sports, there is a definite lack of support for college sports and games in Japan, and many competitions are played in front of little to no spectators. Sashiire was built as a solution to these problems.

We had a chance to speak briefly with Takuya Kato, the CEO of the company. He explains:

By showing support in ways other than just cheering, by actually giving to players, it not only helps teams financially but it will likely motivate players as well. So instead of building a platform to collect funds, we made Sashiire so that actual items that can be delivered right to the players.

The company plans to add sashiire for businesses, where (for example) an energy drink company could support college teams by sending its products.

With a platform like this one, college sports become a more engaging form of entertainment people, especially for local residents who may live near a particular school.

You can see more about how the Sashiire platform works in the video below.