Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images
Wizards announce new Japanese language content platforms
Japanese sports media veteran Zac Ikuma hired as digital correspondent
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Wizards have announced the addition of Zac Ikuma as the team’s Japanese Digital Correspondent, the first role of its kind in the NBA. Ikuma will spearhead the organization’s ongoing efforts to increase the team’s global presence with a specific focus in Japan.
Ikuma is fluent in English and Japanese and joins the group with experience as a bilingual sportscaster. He has spent the past 14 years as a TV reporter, including the last seven years as a play-by-play announcer for Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball League. Ikuma most recently covered the FIBA games in China and has experience with Major League Baseball and the National Football League.
“We are excited for Zac to join our Wizards family and help extend our reach in Japan and throughout the globe,” said Jim Van Stone, President of Business Operations for Monumental Sports. “His storytelling expertise will help bring great Wizards content to our fans worldwide.”
Ikuma will host the Wizards Global Podcast in Japanese (ウィザーズ グローバル ポッドキャスト！). Guests will include Wizards players, coaches and front office staff, pillars in the Japanese business community, and much more. The podcast can be found on SoundCloud, iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.
In addition to the podcast, Ikuma will be the host of a Wizards player video content series in Japanese called Wizards Players’ Diaries (ウィザーズ密着24／7), with features on the players off the court, traveling, practicing, attending community events and more. Zac will use his broadcast talents on game days with pre and post-game insight and analysis.
The Wizards are also launching a Japanese-language specific website. The site will feature translated content from the writers of WashingtonWizards.com, as well as originally produced content from Ikuma.
The podcast, player video series and website will all launch next week in conjunction with the start of Wizards Training Camp presented by MedStar Health.