"The development of the J League was a major disruption to the world of professional sports in Japan. This study examines the history of strategies and changes brought by J League chairmen. Saburo Kawabuchi is famous as the first chairman of the J League. However, the second to fourth chairmen, who are often hidden in his shadow, also achieved many far-sighted and innovative changes for the league. The J League chairman has great power and authority, including making the final decisions for J League bylaws. Each chairman has had distinct themes and characteristics in the changes they made to the league. The first chairman made strategic moves to break away from existing sports systems and continue the league on its own path. The second chairman stabilized the league’s management setup and prepared for expansion. The third chairman expanded the fan base by establishing numerical targets that were carried out by the league overall. The fourth chairman introduced a club license system to strengthen the business foundation of individual J League clubs. At first both the league and clubs were greatly affected by the economic bubble, but stable allocations have come to be provided as the number of clubs has increased over time. In this way the business strategies and roles of the four J League chairmen occupy a large place among the factors for achieving innovative changes in the J League."