Dodgers' Shohei Ohtani contract is already paying serious off-field dividends

Los Angeles Dodgers v Minnesota Twins
Los Angeles Dodgers v Minnesota Twins / Matt Krohn/GettyImages

He's projected to hit 35+ homers, 100+ RBI, steal anywhere from 15-20+ bases, and walk around 13% of the time, but Shohei Ohtani is also a force for the Dodgers in a more subtle way. After he signed his $700 million deal with LA and news came out about how much of it was being deferred, baseball writers quickly did the math and figured that Ohtani made around $65 million outside of baseball with brand deals and sponsorships. That would, of course, mostly make up for the $68 million per year he'll have to wait to start receiving until 2034.

But he's not the only one who gets to benefit from the Ohtani Effect; his team does, too. When he was an Angel, the names of various Japanese companies were plastered all over Angel Stadium, and it's no different with the Dodgers. However, now that Ohtani is playing with a real contender and a legendary franchise (sorry not sorry, Angels fans), even more are stepping up to make significant deals with LA.

In the span of one week, the Dodgers made huge deals with three Japanese companies: ANA, a Tokyo-based airline that flies three round trips between Tokyo and LA every day; Toyo Tires; and Kowa, now the "official Japanese topical pan relief product of the Dodgers" and a presenting sponsor of the team.

Shohei Ohtani's record-breaking Dodgers contract has already started to pay itself off with sponsorships

Dodgers' sponorship deals were expected to skyrocket after they signed Ohtani, so this isn't altogether surprising, but the timing of these three newest ones couldn't have been better. Ohtani had a slow start to the season before completely exploding after his first Dodgers home run on April 3. Since hitting that one 430 feet, he's batted .500/.522/1.182 with two more home runs, five RBI, two doubles, and a triple.

The cost of Ohtani's contract (piled beneath Yoshinobu Yamamoto's, Tyler Glasnow's, Mookie Betts', Freddie Freeman's, and so on) was a real concern as to the club's long-term spending, but the Dodgers clearly already have a pathway forward to make up for the cost (and then some?) for Ohtani, at least.