Thanks again to Herouth for compiling and sharing the kensho data for Natsu 2022. As the crowds come back, the money continues to flow back into sponsorships. Takanosho’s excellent performance was rewarded with a nice financial bonus, particularly his upset of the Yokozuna. That paid out handsomely, not just with the bounties but contributing to his Outstanding Performance prize. It’s nice to see him snag these bonuses because even as a Sekiwake last year, his bouts would lack sponsors. Hopefully this draws some more attention his way.
Kotonowaka’s stock rose a bit, particularly at the start of the basho with his upset of all three Shozeki. With nine wins he’ll be remaining in the joi, and with it more opportunities to upset sanyaku competitors. He’s steadily accumulating bounties of his own, as heyagashira for the storied Sadogatake beya.
Tobizaru also had a large increase in bounties available, mostly from his fight with Terunofuji and a couple of Ozeki. Even though he lost many of those bigger opportunities, he still walked away with some nice spending money, like his Day 1 bout against Ura. He’ll be close to the same rank in Nagoya but the envelopes may not be quite as thick as we leave Tokyo.
Feel free to play around with the dashboard below. You can see how each wrestler’s bounties have trended through the past two and a half years, as well as some overall summaries of the tournaments themselves. While this tournament did not have as many sponsored bouts as the Poke-Basho in January, it picked up quite a bit more sponsorship than last year and a bit more than Osaka. As we steadily return to normal and crowds come back to the arenas, I anticipate continued growth in sponsorship. Sponsorships will only really pick up if the Ozeki ranks begin to perform better and generate excitement. It would be even better if they win some titles and generate some promotion buzz. Demotion buzz, on the other hand, will bring fewer bounty envelopes.