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American sports gear in Asia


TPE

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During the summer I went to Japan, Korea, China and Thailand for vacation. Not only was it a great cultural experience, but it was also fun to see what American sports merchandise the citizens were wearing. I'm sorry I only have one picture, I wasted my film on dumb stuff like historical landmarks. Now I will touch on the trends I saw in each country.

Japan: Mostly baseball hats here. Ironically I saw more American baseball hats than Japanese baseball hats. The usual suspects were there, like the Mariners, Red Sox, and Yankees, but every once in a while you'd see another team. There was also a MASSIVE MLB shop that was bigger than anything I've seen in America. A bit expensive, but it was fun to browse through. They had every piece of merchandise you could imagine, but not many jerseys. They did have jerseys for practically every Japanese player, even some more obscure ones like Iwamura and Otsuka. I also saw a red Mariners hat at a market.

Korea: Koreans may love baseball even more so than the Japanese. Not only was Korean baseball on TV, but also Japanese and American baseball. Not to mention, I saw many, many people with MLB caps on. And not cheap knockoffs either, these were the real deal. A lot of teams were represented as well. I even saw two people who wore Texas Rangers T-Shirts. Most obscure hat? Probably the all maroon Phillies hat. Her boyfriend was wearing an A's cap. Ah, interleague romance.

I visited a city called Songtan, which is home to a lot of American military men. Many shops in the area cater to their hobbies and interests (kind of like Koreatown in America, but Americatown in Korea). A lot of the stuff here is handmade, including some pretty warm blankets with your favorite team logo slapped on it. I also ran into a football shop that had some unusual hybrid jerseys:

p8150118gl4.jpg

China: Can you guess the most popular American sport in China? If you didn't guess basketball, well I pity you. Many citizens adorned a Houston Rockets T-shirt, and some people even had a full uniform on complete with the shorts. Almost all of these were knockoffs. Some were convincing, while others were just white jerseys with Yao slapped on the back. Many people had jerseys that weren't of any specific player, and lacked a number on the back. Yao jerseys were the most popular, but I saw an Iverson one every now and then. A lot of people also wore T-Mac shirts. There were a lot of pretty wild knockoffs, like an orange Spurs jersey and a black and red Suns uniform. Unfortunately, I really couldn't find a shop where I could buy them. I saw a jersey or two scattered about various shops, but my dream of a massive warehouse filled with cheap, poorly made jerseys did not come true. Baseball showed up every now and then, including at least four baby blue Phillies jerseys at this one vendor's shop. And of course, I saw some Yanks hats now and again.

Thailand: Soccer is more popular in Thailand, with a lot of people wearing soccer jerseys and entire shops dedicated to selling uniforms. I even got a custom made AC Milan jersey for $9 (which may sound cheap, but it is probably 400% profit for the guy who sold it to me). The were a lot of Yankee caps in shops, but a lot of them were obvious knockoffs unless the Yankees switched to orange caps.

Sorry I didn't get more pictures. Do you have any stories about seeing American sports gear in other countries?

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Wow, a Bob McAdoo jersey in Korea???? That is surprising.

And those NFL fashion jerseys are horrendous.

I've only been in the USA and Canada, so I can't add anything else to the thread, except from seeing someone wearing a Modesto Nuts jersey in Niagara Falls, ON last week.

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I visited a city called Songtan, which is home to a lot of American military men. Many shops in the area cater to their hobbies and interests (kind of like Koreatown in America, but Americatown in Korea). A lot of the stuff here is handmade, including some pretty warm blankets with your favorite team logo slapped on it. I also ran into a football shop that had some unusual hybrid jerseys:

p8150118gl4.jpg

Who's Connor? :blink:

About 11 years ago, I saw some MLB gear in Jakarta, where I don't think they even know what baseball is.... but you will see plenty of soccer teams stuff there.

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don't necessarily get too impressed and assume that "baseball gear = fandom," especially for Japan. Culturally, a lot of stuff they like - especially American or other Western gear - is because it's cool and western. Just like Americans trying out Japanese, Chinese or Korean food every once in a while, in many cases a lot of American stuff (including sports stuff) is cool not because it's Billie Beane's A's, or those people really like the Brewers, but because it's foreign and, therefore, unique.

Of course, that doesn't mean everybody is clueless - obviously baseball has a huge following in both Japan and Korea, but I'm just warning you as somebody who has studied a LOT about Japan and Japanese culture (and knows that Korea is somewhat similar in views about Western stuff).

me, I want to do the reverse - I'm planning to live in Japan for a year, and I want to try and find sports gear from there to bring back :)

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don't necessarily get too impressed and assume that "baseball gear = fandom," especially for Japan. Culturally, a lot of stuff they like - especially American or other Western gear - is because it's cool and western.

This is true of course, but the fact that I saw more hats of teams with Japanese players proves that many of them are aware and don't wear it for just fashion purposes. In Korea I think it's more of a fashion trend, considering people weren't wearing Byung Hyun Kim jerseys or anything. But baseball is immensely popular in Korea so I wouldn't be surprised if every person I saw could name the starting pitching rotation for whatever team's hat they were wearing.

me, I want to do the reverse - I'm planning to live in Japan for a year, and I want to try and find sports gear from there to bring back :)

I got a cool T-shirt jersey of Seung Yeop Lee of the Yomiuri Giants. The baseball shop in the Tokyo Dome is actually pretty cheap compared to official MLB shops in America. Not to mention I found cheaper T-shirts there than anywhere else in Tokyo.

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China: Can you guess the most popular American sport in China? If you didn't guess basketball, well I pity you. Many citizens adorned a Houston Rockets T-shirt, and some people even had a full uniform on complete with the shorts. Almost all of these were knockoffs. Some were convincing, while others were just white jerseys with Yao slapped on the back. Many people had jerseys that weren't of any specific player, and lacked a number on the back. Yao jerseys were the most popular, but I saw an Iverson one every now and then. A lot of people also wore T-Mac shirts. There were a lot of pretty wild knockoffs, like an orange Spurs jersey and a black and red Suns uniform. Unfortunately, I really couldn't find a shop where I could buy them. I saw a jersey or two scattered about various shops, but my dream of a massive warehouse filled with cheap, poorly made jerseys did not come true. Baseball showed up every now and then, including at least four baby blue Phillies jerseys at this one vendor's shop. And of course, I saw some Yanks hats now and again..

Do you have any stories about seeing American sports gear in other countries?

I've lived over 1 year on aggregate in China (and about 3 years in Taiwan), and besides basketball, the most popular spectator sport is soccer. Of course TRE qualified his statement with American sport, so in that case he's right on. Anyway, if you spend much time in sporting goods stores in China, you'll see NBA and various different soccer jerseys being sold at different prices depending on their perceived legitimacy. A big, well-known department store would probably have actual licensed goods (though it's really hard to tell in China), so their price might be even more expensive than the States. However, if you know where to look, you can find not-so-legitimate jerseys being sold on the streets for fractions of what they would go for here. It's all about know where to look, though it really impossible to track down any specific team--the merchants really have no clue, and they'll get (a) whatever team the know or (B) whatever looks good.

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In a couple of trips to Germany, I have noticed that American sports merchandise is actually quite popular...most being NFL jerseys and hats. This caught me off guard due to the huge obsession with soccer...I guess many of the former NFL Europe teams were from Germany, maybe thats where the trend came from.

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I went to Italy in 1991 and saw some odd things. One store, which was unfortunately closed on Sunday had a cream and maroon shirt with Minnesota Twins logos on it. Another had blue shirt had a San Francisco Giants logo on it but above that was the world "Michigan"!I think they were just using American sports logos as clip art with no regard to colors, location or any other authentic details

In the heart of Italy I did see a Minnesota Vikings jacket as well. At least it was the proper colors.

While on vacation in Beijing , China in 1996 I did see some Chicago Bulls Jordan jerseys and various soccer jerseys, mostly from Italy and Juventus in particular.Some were clearly better than others as far as getting the look right.

American football gear seemed popular my last time in England.

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From my many trips down to Mexico I can report that American sports merchandise is quite popular but, like in most countries, is limited to only a few of the more popular team (read: teams that have had recent success).

The teams that you will mostly see represented are the Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, New York Yankees, LA Dodgers and Chicago Bulls. Thats it. Its odd that you wont see a lot of people wearing Mexican player merchandise, like a Najera or Esteban Loaiza jersey. This is probably due to the fact that most of the things are either really cheap knockoffs or early 90's.

Also an authentic jersey with full player names and numbers will run you about twice as much in Mexico than the U.S, which is why if you take an old Mike Vick jersey (or any other inactive player) and give it to somebody you'll be treated like you were sent by Zeus.

On the other hand, soccer jerseys (authentic ones) are pretty cheap (price wise) so I, along with many people who live in the U.S find myself asking for soccer shirts whenever relatives visit, at $25 American for an authentic jersey I'd say its pretty reasonable.

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China: Can you guess the most popular American sport in China? If you didn't guess basketball, well I pity you. Many citizens adorned a Houston Rockets T-shirt, and some people even had a full uniform on complete with the shorts. Almost all of these were knockoffs. Some were convincing, while others were just white jerseys with Yao slapped on the back. Many people had jerseys that weren't of any specific player, and lacked a number on the back. Yao jerseys were the most popular, but I saw an Iverson one every now and then. A lot of people also wore T-Mac shirts. There were a lot of pretty wild knockoffs, like an orange Spurs jersey and a black and red Suns uniform. Unfortunately, I really couldn't find a shop where I could buy them. I saw a jersey or two scattered about various shops, but my dream of a massive warehouse filled with cheap, poorly made jerseys did not come true. Baseball showed up every now and then, including at least four baby blue Phillies jerseys at this one vendor's shop. And of course, I saw some Yanks hats now and again.

What was Yi's impact in China when compared to Yao or American Basketball players? Ever since my team drafted Yi I get the impression he is a mega star over there and I wonder how true that is.

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China: Can you guess the most popular American sport in China? If you didn't guess basketball, well I pity you. Many citizens adorned a Houston Rockets T-shirt, and some people even had a full uniform on complete with the shorts. Almost all of these were knockoffs. Some were convincing, while others were just white jerseys with Yao slapped on the back. Many people had jerseys that weren't of any specific player, and lacked a number on the back. Yao jerseys were the most popular, but I saw an Iverson one every now and then. A lot of people also wore T-Mac shirts. There were a lot of pretty wild knockoffs, like an orange Spurs jersey and a black and red Suns uniform. Unfortunately, I really couldn't find a shop where I could buy them. I saw a jersey or two scattered about various shops, but my dream of a massive warehouse filled with cheap, poorly made jerseys did not come true. Baseball showed up every now and then, including at least four baby blue Phillies jerseys at this one vendor's shop. And of course, I saw some Yanks hats now and again.

What was Yi's impact in China when compared to Yao or American Basketball players? Ever since my team drafted Yi I get the impression he is a mega star over there and I wonder how true that is.

While I didn't see a lot of people in Yi jerseys, he is still pretty popular. He had some Nike commercials and other ads for the Olympics. I don't know if he is a mega star, but he is definitely very popular over there.

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I went to every baseball stadium in Japan this year (I'm back home now)... there was MLB gear at every stop, mostly the teams with Japanese players (but I did see some of the other teams, mostly just their hats, in other places)

And yes, the Japanese do love their baseball--MLB, NPB (their league), Koshien (the national high school baseball tournament at Koshien Stadium)... Going to those games were my favorite experiences in Japan.

P.S. Boo on the guy that bought a Seung Yeop Lee jersey. :D (Yes, I'm just mad my Dragons lost a crucial series at home to the Giants.) I have all Dragons shirts--Kosuke Fukudome away jersey, a numberless home jersey, and a Kazuyoshi Tatsunami practice shirt. I would have gotten a Masa Yamamoto "No Hit No Run" shirt (commemorating his no-hitter on 9/16/06, my first Japanese baseball game), but they don't have "XXL" in Japan. :P

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I would have gotten a Masa Yamamoto "No Hit No Run" shirt (commemorating his no-hitter on 9/16/06, my first Japanese baseball game), but they don't have "XXL" in Japan. :P

Really? So where do sumo wrestlers have to go to get a commemorative shirt?

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