Major League Baseball (MLB) has signed a five-year extension to its longstanding partnership with the USA Baseball national governing body.
Under the agreement, which first began in 2006, the two organisations will continue to support national team programs and create a Sport Development department, with a focus on baseball at grassroots level and providing educational resources to coaches, players, parents and umpires.
The ongoing partnership will also continue the proliferation of ‘Pitch Smart’, a series of guidelines designed to help parents, players and coaches avoid overuse injuries and ensure longer careers for young players.
The two organisations will also push on with other initiatives such as the Online Education Centre, Amateur Resource Centre and the USA Baseball Mobile Coach application. In addition, USA Baseball will continue to support multiple programs with MLB, such as ‘Fun at Bat’ and the MLB Urban Youth Academy.
The partnership will also cover MLB working with USA Baseball’s sponsorship, licensing and other business areas, including collaborations with the league’s Major League Baseball Properties and MLB Advanced Media subsidiaries. The latter of these divisions will support the governing body’s internet properties as well as provide live video streaming support for USA Baseball events.
Paul Seiler, executive director and chief executive of USA Baseball, said: “Our relationship with Major League Baseball over the past 10 years has fuelled the growth of USA Baseball in ways none of us ever really imagined. Beyond our many on-field successes, this alliance has enabled our organisation to become a true leader and model governing body in the world of sport, both domestically and internationally.”
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred added: “As the national governing body of the sport, USA Baseball is an important strategic partner in strengthening the amateur and youth levels of our game. We have made progress throughout our partnership, particularly with the ‘Play Ball’ initiative, and we look forward to instituting more positive developments in the near future.”