SportsEvents Magazine

OCT 2016

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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Page 8 of 59 2017 Baseball/Softball Sourcebook 9 "For any sport to have that kind of opportunity to market and expose itself on such a global level, it can't help but create interest and opportunity, so to have baseball back in the Olympic program is tremendous for the sport," said Paul Seiler, executive director and CEO of USA Base- ball, the national governing body for the sport of baseball. "The global exposure to the sport during those sixteen days of glory is unparalleled." But the boost from the Olympics goes well past those 16 days. An even bigger benefit for the sport is the four years between the Summer Games when funding opportunities are put in place for devel- opment of the sport in each participating country. "Development of the sport can take place through the baseball federations," Seiler said. "It really moves the needle where our sport isn't traditionally part of the DNA." Being in the Olympics certainly increas- es interest and excitement in countries such as the United States, Japan and Mexico — where the sport is already popular and developed and has the needed infrastruc- ture — but it really makes an impact in the countries where the sport isn't necessarily traditional. "Having baseball on the 2020 Olympic program creates funding opportunities for those countries where baseball is still developing," said PONY Baseball and Softball President and CEO Abe Key. "There are approximately 130 countries with baseball federations and funding is critical through their Olympic federations for medal sports. So a country that might not have funding for baseball development if the sport isn't in the Olympics now, ► BY PAIGE TOWNLEY America's Pastime Returns To The Olympic Games Back In The High Life! Baseball Spotlight: ith interest in many sports getting a bump during and after the Olympics, it's no surprise that many in baseball are thrilled that the sport will once again take its place among those to be played in Tokyo in 2020. W Molly Campbell

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