Sydney, NSW, Australia – The Australian Baseball League (ABL) and American Association of Professional Baseball (AAPB) have announced a formal partnership that ties together baseball in the two hemispheres and creates a year-round product for fans. This includes proposed exchanges of staff, coaches and more, plus live streaming and cross-promotion initiatives.
“There are a lot of synergies between the ABL and the American Association,” Baseball CEO Glen Williams said. “We’ve seen multiple Australian players play in that competition. We’ve seen broadcasters, players and coaches from there come here. There’s been a lot of movement back and forth. There’s so much opportunity now with extending the reach of people who love baseball.”
“This is really powerful for baseball, to know that it’s international scope,”American Association Commissioner Joshua Schaub said. “American fans can now watch baseball year-round, Australian baseball fans can watch American Association games. This will help grow the game, and it could be a catalyst for much bigger things to come in international baseball for both leagues.
Under the partnership terms, the ABL and AAPB will engage in an interchange of staff on a year-round basis between member clubs. These staffers will work year-round and transition between Australia and America during the countries’ respective playing seasons: November to February in Australia, May to September in America.
Staff may include coaches, groundskeepers, interns and any parties who may benefit from such a year-round baseball experience.
The ABL and AAPB are also set to break ground on an exchange program in which both coaches and umpires will have the opportunity, if they choose, to switch off between the two leagues to further develop and foster year-round employment.
Under the agreement, the leagues will share video content of both live games and behind-the-scenes action on streaming platforms AABaseball.TV and Sportradar onDemand. The plan includes a “Game of the Week” on AABaseball.TV that will push viewers from both parts of the world to view live games. This marketing plan will also focus on players who play in both leagues.
The parties will cross-promote games, teams and merchandise between the leagues through social media, web, and email distribution, among other means.
The deal is set to revolutionise the next generation of baseball both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The ABL and AAPB have combined to send hundreds of players to Major League Baseball. This includes All-Stars like Max Scherzer, Liam Hendricks and Roland Acuna Jr. The ABL and AAPB both pride themselves on also developing young baseball talent while entertaining fans in local markets, ranging from Chicago to Sydney to Winnipeg, Auckland, Kansas City, Brisbane, Dallas, Perth and so much more.