Strong Appeal of "Soft Tennis" Highlighted in New Study by Nagase Kenko Corp. of Japan

Tokyo -- July 16, 2007 -- Nagase Kenko Corporation (NKC) is proud to release the results of a recent survey it commissioned detailing the views and perceptions of 47 league representatives, coaches, distributors, parents, journalists and other targeted tennis-related individuals concerning their views on the Japanese sport of "Soft Tennis".

To download a free report detailing key findings of this survey, please visit:
July 16, 2007 Strong Appeal of "Soft Tennis" Highlighted in New Study by Nagase Kenko Corp. of Japan

Key conclusions include:
  • Soft Tennis is largely unknown outside Japan -- 55%+ of respondents indicated absolutely NO prior knowledge of sport -- even though audience comprised of individuals with strong ties to tennis;
  • After viewing a small amount of basic information, however -- ie, background page and intro video -- 45%+ of respondents noted they they had a GREAT DEAL of interest in the game;
  • Respondents appear to have few negative, or in fact any, preconceptions and to see Soft Tennis as an “adjunct” rather than a “substitute” sport to traditional tennis;
  • Most attracted by Soft Tennis’ ability to allow “Longer Rallies”, “Training”, “Control over Ball”;
  • “Quality”, “Performance” and “Durability” considered most important factors motivating tennis equipment purchases with far less emphasis on “Brand Name”, “Price” and “League Endorsement”;
  • Respondents, however, viewed “Lack of Equipment and “Availability” as primary constraints, emphasizing need for marketing, promotion and outreach to spread knowledge of, and interest in, Soft Tennis, as well as distribution and availability of product and related programs -- if Soft Tennis is to build a presence in the United States and other foreign markets outside of Japan;
  • At least among adults, Tennis Clubs seem to be the primary sponsor of tennis teams and their play;
  • Almost 50% of Respondents expressed a potential interest in organizing local tournaments and training programs in their areas and several have eagerly followed up since survey was released; and
  • Similarly, almost 50% of Respondents indicated a desire to have someone call them to discuss Soft Tennis Products, Services and Programs.

"The strong interest registered within this research was extremely impressive -- particularly since most of the people surveyed had no prior knowledge of Soft Tennis -- and their impressions were formed only from background info and a video that was provided”, notes Keith W. Rabin, President of KWR International, a consulting firm that conducted this study. "We were also encouraged by the high percentage of people who recognized the potential of Soft Tennis. This was seen in the data as well as the many requests received for information concerning products as well as how they might join with NKC to organize Soft Tennis tournaments and athletic programs within their respective areas.”

“Soft Tennis is little known in the US but has a 130+ year history in Japan. It allows more control and a chance to develop skills through longer rallies and if desired, indoor play. That makes for a flexible and enjoyable game as well as a valuable training tool -- which can be enjoyed by young and old alike", states Graham Morris, Director of Operations, Palm Beach County Sports Commission. "For this reason we invited NKC to play an integral part in our annual Kids Fitness Festival of the Palm Beaches. This event will take place on July 19-20, and bring together 4,000+ local elementary and middle school children to learn the basics of soft tennis and 40+ other sports from the area's leading instructors."

"This study reinforces our belief in Soft Tennis as a viable product for the US and other foreign markets and is helping us to better understand the needs and concerns of international players and tennis-related organizations and businesses”, comments Yasuhiko Nagase, Executive Vice President of NKC. “We invite inquiries from dealers, retailers, leagues, teams, coaches, players, sporting goods companies and other alliance partners who are interested in working with NKC as we expand our international launch moving forward.”

For more information on Soft Tennis, NKC, Kenko products, services and sports marketing programs, please visit You can also view an introductory video at or contact the representative indicated below.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Nagase Kenko Corporation is a global, multi-line sporting goods company. In addition to its complete line of Soft Tennis product, NKC markets AirSafety and Universal Regulation baseballs as well as a wide range of additional sporting good products and services through its Team Sports and Tennis, Sports Flooring and Gymnastics Equipment and International Sales and Marketing divisions.

Presently employing a staff of over 250 individuals, NKC maintains four Japanese manufacturing facilities and three regional sales offices in Osaka, Fukuoka and Hokkaido. It also maintains a growing network of agents, distributors and representatives who help to manage its international sales and marketing and promotional activities.

Alex Rabin
KWR International, Inc.
Tel. +1-212-532-3005
Fax. +1-212-685-2413