Nike announced that a new 30-second broadcast commercial featuring Japanese star and Boston Red Sox rookie pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka will begin airing today on television exclusively in Japan to mark the athlete's professional debut this week in the U.S. The commercial, “JUST DO IT: Enjoy the Pressure”, captures the excitement of fans and the intensity of media attention worldwide leading up to Matsuzaka's first start.
Nike said the new commercial, which characterizes the many pressures that face the young Matsuzaka, features imagery of fans around the world preparing for Matsuzaka's first U.S. start. The commercial opens with a pair of Japanese kids waking up in the middle of the night to watch Matsuzaka take the mound. It will be 3:10 a.m. Friday morning in Japan when Matsuzaka takes the mound Thursday night in Boston. Throughout the commercial there are shots depicting the throngs of Japanese and American media that Matsuzaka faces on a daily basis, fans of opposing teams that will have to face the young pitcher throughout the season and Boston Red Sox fans with high expectations for their newest star.
The commercial, produced by Wieden & Kennedy Japan, ends in the Boston Red Sox locker room where Matsuzaka takes a deep breath in front of his locker before flashing his famous smile and heading to the mound.
Nike will introduce a Matsuzaka signature fielding glove, the M18, at select retailers throughout Japan beginning in July. Matsuzaka, who is 26 years old, signed a free-agent contract with the Major League Baseball Boston Red Sox this year and has been a star in Japan since pitching a no-hitter in the final game of Japan's national high school baseball tournament.