J. League to resume on 4 July with additional Meiji Yasuda support
Japanese soccer's J. League announced today that it will resume its 2020 season on 4 July, while title sponsor Meiji Yasuda, the life insurance company, has signed an additional commercial deal with the top flight.
The new agreement has been described as a "special sponsorship" and will run from June 2020 until December 2021.
Meiji Yasuda has signed individual sponsorship deals with all 56 clubs in the top three leagues and will engage in a variety of activities to promote health and to help revitalise communities, and encourage people to overcome the coronavirus pandemic.
Meiji Yasuda became one of seven 'Top Partners' of the J. League (J1) in 2014, when it put its name to the newly-launched, third-tier J3. One year later it became title sponsor of both the J1 and second-tier J2 for the first time.
In December 2018, the insurer extended the title sponsorship agreement with all three leagues until the end of the 2022 season.
Meiji Yasuda said in a statement: "In the past five years with the J.League, we believe we have deepened our bond by sharing our appreciation to the community for their support and our will to continue contributing to them. Although the J.League is currently postponing matches due to the spread of the Covid-19, we believe that the energy when cheering the clubs and the excitement that sports bring to the fans will give a strong boost to the community and its people, and will also help revitalise the economy."
At a meeting today, the J. League confirmed that J1 matches will resume on 4 July, and be followed by the return of J2 and J3 on 27 June. All games will be played behind closed doors.
The league said it will aim to tweak the fixtures and schedule matches featuring teams "from the same geographical area as one safety measure to prevent infection."
Further details will be announced on 15 June.
Domestic media rights to the J. League are held by DAZN, the over-the-top streaming platform, in a 10-year, $2-billion deal.