For fans of the J. League, there is perhaps no date more anticipated than the opening day of the season.

But for those who share a fascination with the rapid evolution of sports marketing in Japan and how it applies to the beautiful game, Christmas comes twice a year.

The first such occasion comes in February with the release of the annual J. League Fan Survey, which since 2004 has opened a fascinating window into the demographics of J. League supporters, their spending and travel habits, and their motivations for supporting their local team.