Consulting firm specializes in working with professional leagues and teams to assist Asian born baseball players thrive in the United States
Philadelphia, PA (December 2, 2013) - Han Gil Lee, Kenneth A. Jacobsen, and N. Jeremi Duru will announce the launch of Global Sporting Integration, a consulting firm specializing in assisting Minor and Major League Baseball players from Asian countries successfully transition to the United States, at the 112th Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando, December 9-12th.
During the 2013 season, approximately 60 Asian born players competed in MLB and its farm systems. Often, these players face challenges associated with international transplantation, such as a new language, cultural context, foods and climates, in addition to differences in training schedules, practice regimens, media expectations and the way baseball is played in the U.S. versus their native country.
“When a MLB team signs a player from Asia, the team is not simply adding a new member to its roster, it is bringing a person to start a new life in a foreign environment,” said Han Lee, CEO of GSI. “The challenges of transitioning to new lives as professional baseball players in America has been an ongoing challenge for MLB and has cost many promising players their careers, resulting in large financial losses for both the player and their clubs.”
GSI provides custom solutions to the challenges faced by Asian born baseball players playing in the United States. Services designed to assist Asian baseball players at both the Major League and Minor League levels include English language education, nutritional consulting, cultural immersion, and more.
“A smooth transition can mean a long and successful MLB career, while a failed transition will likely mean a short and uninspired career for the player, and a substantial economic loss for the team,” said Ken Jacobsen, principal of GSI. “These challenges have played a part in the premature end of the careers of several high profile Asian MLB signees, resulting in millions lost.”
Asian signees such as Kei Igawa, who cost the New York Yankees $46 million to sign but appeared in just 16 MLB games and Tsuyoshi Nishioka, who the Minnesota Twins spent $14.3 million to sign but lasted less than two seasons in MLB are two examples of failed transitions. Many more Minor League teams have lost players, and revenue, for the same reasons.
“As someone who has represented the interests of international baseball players for over 20 years, I recognize the importance of what GSI brings to the table: a variety of services specifically designed to ease a player’s often difficult transition to the United States. GSI’s services present an exceptional opportunity for MLB, its teams, their players, and the player’s agents and representatives to form more lasting and fruitful relationships, which works to everyone’s benefit,” said Don Nomura, MLBPA Certified Agent, KDN Sports, Inc., whose clients include Yu Darvish (Texas Rangers) and Kyuji Fujikawa (Chicago Cubs).
While Asian players comprised only 2% of the Major League player population in 2013, MLB has recognized Asia as a fertile source of future players and has set up regional offices in Tokyo and Beijing.
The 112th Baseball Winter Meetings will take place from December 9-12th, 2013 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida. The meetings are only open to members of The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, tradeshow exhibitors, PBEO job fair attendees and approved non-members.
The current wave of players coming from Asia shows no signs of slowing, with new amateur prospects being signed each season and several high profile professionals such as Masahiro Tanaka (Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, NPB), Suk-Min Yoon (Kia Tigers, KBO), and Dae-Ho Lee (Orix Buffaloes, NPB) interested in making the move to MLB.
ABOUT GLOBAL SPORTING INTEGRATION
Global Sporting Integration (GSI) is a consulting firm specializing in creating custom solutions for professional baseball players from Asian countries to adapt, survive and thrive while playing in the United States. Unlike a sports agency, GSI seeks to contract with MLB and its clubs to ease the transition process for players. GSI’s programs focus on challenges involving language barriers, nutrition, cultural elements and variances in physical training from an athlete’s native country. For more information please visit www.globalsportingintegration.com, or follow GSI on Twitter @GSIntegration.