Misaki Kudo - Road to Tokyo 2020 - AISTS Alumni

Misaki Kudo’s

Road to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

The 2020 Summer Olympics, Tokyo 2020, will be held from 23 July to 8 August 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. In the run-up to the biggest sporting event, we catch up with our AISTS alumni playing a vital role at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Misaki, AISTS MAS 2020, has a background as a Floor (Content) Director, CG Director, and Assistant Director at Express Sports. She played a significant role at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, contributing and researching news-related topics and stories about the Major League Baseball Team for the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) – Japan’s only public broadcaster.  As part of the Games, she was also responsible for collecting all data and statistics prior to Japan Volleyball League matches and worked with sports streaming service DAZN. Now, her journey begins at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) in the Media Department, and we asked her a few questions about her journey to the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Misaki Kudo at the Tokyo 2020 Baseball Venue
Misaki at the Tokyo 2020 venue

Tell us about your current role in/for coming Tokyo 2020

  • Communicate and deal with media, especially Japanese media who cover baseball & softball
  • Support strategizing the media department communication plan and social media campaigns
  • Assist, coordinate and produce contents for the WBSC communication channels
  • Support organising Baseball5 showcase and promoting the event on social media
  • Deliver necessary information to the WBSC media members who are located off-site and so we can timely release reports and reviews
  • Support any tasks requiring Japanese language

What is your typical day like?

  • Check if all of the articles and the webpages are aligned, and liaise with official translators accordingly
  • Ensure all campaigns are on track and build up digital plans towards upcoming events
  • Collect and analyse data of digital assets and propose strategies
  • Media team operation review and administration
  • Support media content for Japanese audience
Misaki Kudo event reporting and data analysing at the baseball competition at the Tokyo 2020
Misaki at the Tokyo 2020 venue
Misaki Kudo interviewing ball boy and ball girl
Misaki interviewing ball boy and ball girl

What’s the best part of your job?

I am grateful to be a part of such a fast-growing federation, where I look forward every day to become more applicable and independent.

After a 13-year absence, baseball and softball have returned to the Olympic program. I am thrilled to be a witness to how the WBSC takes full advantage of this opportunity and, on the other hand, grows up as an independent organization without relying on the Olympics.

Since joining the WBSC, I have been given the opportunity to speak up, as the federation is very open to ideas from young staff members like myself. This is one of the elements that I value most in my work as a professional.

In addition, it is not always easy to assert the value of being the international governing body of a sport when there are huge professional leagues like Major League Baseball. However, understanding the importance of cooperation and working together to overcome this difficult time has resulted in many positive changes in the relationship. In many ways, the WBSC is in a year of change. I am excited to be a part of this revolution.

Misaki at the Tokyo 2020 press conference
Misaki at the Tokyo 2020 press conference

Tell us your journey so far from Lausanne to Tokyo 2020 since your graduation

Even now, sometimes I still feel this is fanciful. In September of 2020, I got an internship opportunity at the WBSC by proposing a 3-month project. And now I won the ticket to go to the Olympic Games held in my maternal country. Everything took a lot more time than I prepared, but better than I expected.

Thanks to the project, the WBSC has been very appreciative of my work from the beginning. Though sometimes I feel pressured by this when people expect more from me, it gives me confidence and motivation to contribute even more. I will never forget the words of praise from president Riccardo Fraccari; they remind me of my initial enthusiasm.

With the Tokyo 2020 Games coming closer, I have to juggle more tasks – not only media but also anything relating to the Japanese language. The Games will be my first event being on-site as a member of the WBSC; however, my previous professional experience of sport media and my current journey with the WBSC will surely help me on any occasion. I just cannot wait to have another priceless opportunity in my career.

What one thing did you learn at the AISTS that you still keep in mind for your work today?

I think it is “the importance of finding my own market”. A lot of talents come to study at the AISTS from all over the world. Everyone has different strengths and different weaknesses and if you find a field where you are stunning, you can cover the weakness. You do not have to be the best in all fields.

Through the course, I had figured out what I liked to live for and where I could be the best. This helped me a lot when I looked for opportunities even in the difficult pandemic context.

AISTS Master in Sport Administration Programme Class of 2020
AISTS MAS Class of 2020

Do you have any advice for those looking at the next step in their sport management career and wanting to be part of the Olympic Movement?

Fortunately, my professional career has only been in the sports industry, just as I wished it would be when I was in middle school. Only how I relate to sports has changed.

When I worked in my favourite sports, contrary to my expectations at the time, that was the only pain I felt. Whereas there were many new sports that I have been exposed to and learned about through my work that I have come to enjoy. Baseball was one of them.

When I was wondering about my career, a person I respected who was active in the U.S. told me, “It is important to determine how much distance you want to have with sports.” He also told me that “this idea would change as you progress in your career.”

There is always a possibility that something you were not interested in will become your vocation. The world of sports is wide and narrow. If you do not rush and take the long-term approach, I believe you will eventually be able to get involved in sports at a distance that suits you best.

Experience the world of sport in the Olympic Capital

Participants attend several full-day workshops throughout the programme to experience sport. These sessions are delivered by the sport organisations and federations themselves and provide a unique hands-on experience and well as an ideal opportunity to connect to our alumni and experts working in the industry.