Ahead of the launch of its eighth season, the Australian Baseball League (ABL) is embarking on an ambitious and innovative growth strategy to capitalise on continuous increases in participation; and the excitement of baseball returning to the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
Not only is the ABL planning to expand from six to eight teams in 2018/2019, it will increase focus on new markets in Regional Australia and Asia as primary targets for expansion teams.
Baseball Australia CEO Cam Vale sees opportunities in Asia as a groundbreaking step for Australian Baseball.
"There has never been an opportunity of this magnitude in Australian sport before, as baseball has the potential to reach millions of consumers across Asia.” said Vale.
“Baseball is the number one sport in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, when it comes to attendance, participation and broadcast ratings.”
"While we are playing between November and February these baseball rich countries are seeking out more baseball games to watch; and further opportunities to develop their players.”
“We share a time zone and natural broadcast footprint with our northern neighbours, and as such the ABL is perfectly positioned to be the premier Winter league in Asia.” Vale said
Australia has always had significant ties to Asian baseball, consolidated when in March 2017 Chinese Taipei's World Baseball Classic (WBC) team participated in a series of exhibition games here in Australia which were viewed by millions.
"Broadcast delivery will be all important in the expansion process," Vale said. "We will design a schedule which encourages local and international broadcast opportunities; and we have already had significant interest following the announcement of the six highly regarded Asian marquee players to play this season.”
Read the full press release here.