Dodgers Team News

Shohei Ohtani Signs Endorsement Contract With Analytics Firm Rapsodo

In baseball circles, the name “Rapsodo” is well-known. The software and hardware manufacturer offers devices that measure velocity, spin rate, spin direction, spin efficiency, horizontal break, vertical break, release extension, and seam-shifted wake. It’s practically synonymous with “analytics.”

Outside of baseball circles – and outside the U.S. – Rapsodo isn’t as well-known. Enter Shohei Ohtani.

Rapsodo signed an endorsement contract with Ohtani, the Dodgers’ two-way superstar, whose list of endorsement deals already towers over the baseball world. The multi-channel marketing campaign debuts Monday. Rapsodo hopes aligning with a global superstar can broaden its products’ reach into new markets – especially Japan.

“Over the past couple years, (Ohtani) has been using Pro 3.0, which is our two-way technology that uses optical and radar based technology to track ball flight, so he’s used that for a couple of years,” Rapsodo executive Matt Fowles said in an interview with Dodgers Nation. “But it even dates back to using Rapsodo since 2018. We did have a chance to work with Shohei a couple of months ago, had a really good interview with him where he shared his appetite for advancing the way that baseball is played across the world with technology like Rapsodo, and encouraging athletes and coaches across the world to advance play through technology.”

It makes sense for a two-way player like Ohtani to endorse a product that has something to offer both pitchers and hitters. The Dodgers haven’t cleared Ohtani to throw off a mound yet, but a Rapsodo device can still help him in the early stages of his throwing program. By measuring speed and spin, it helps a rehabbing pitcher “benchmark” what, for example, a 70-mph fastball looks and feels like out of his hand as he makes progress toward throwing off a mound.

Fowles said this was among the topics of discussion with Ohtani when Rapsodo met with him in spring training for a “content shoot” in Phoenix.

“We were interested in how Shohei would potentially incorporate Rapsodo into his rehab process,” Fowles said. “And his answer was yes, that he uses Rapsodo technology in rehab, from elbow surgery, you know, on the batting side and on the pitching side. So on the hitting side, he uses it to again connect that ‘feel’ versus ‘real,’ where are the data matching where he feels it should be, to help confirm his overall recovery.”

Ohtani said via a press release that he uses Rapsodo “mainly to quantify my growth as a player. For example, to check if I am making the correct hits on my swing, or to help me design a pitch that is difficult to hit. Having the ability to see the data and confirm it connects to my growth as a player.”

There was plenty of buzz around the Ohtani brand becoming more marketable as soon as he inked a 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers in December. But the timing of this partnership has less to do with Ohtani joining the Dodgers than Rapsodo making the leap into coaches’ toolkits far and wide over the last decade – and now, potentially farther and wider.

“As a company that is getting out of the startup phase and continuing to grow, I’d say the ability for us to work with Shohei Ohtani is real now, and it’s happening,” Fowles said. “So that’s what we’re excited about is 2024 and beyond.”

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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JP Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra writes and edits Major League Baseball content for and is the author of 'The 50 Greatest Dodger Games Of All Time.' He once recorded a keyboard solo on the same album as two of the original Doors. Follow at

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