The World Baseball Softball Confederation, the governing body formed jointly by the two sports to campaign for their return to the Olympic programme, has signed up Mizuno, the Japanese sportswear company, to be the official sponsor of the first-ever World Baseball Softball Congress.
The joint congress, which will be staged in the North African city of Hammamet in Tunisia on 10 May, aims to “unite all national governing bodies of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and the International Softball Federation (ISF) for the first time under the umbrella of the WBSC, as elections will be held to select all positions within the WBSC Executive Board, including that of the president.”
Riccardo Fraccari and Don Porter, the WBSC’s co-presidents, said: “The WBSC is proud and privileged to partner with a globally recognised and leading sports brand like Mizuno, with whom International Baseball and Softball have grown and developed worldwide over the last five decades.
"We cannot think of a more ideal partner than Mizuno for reasons of posterity and to help capture the historic nature and significance of the first-ever World Baseball Softball Congress - and the global evolution in baseball and softball that has led us to this historic point.”
Baseball and softball were unsuccessful with an initial campaign to join the programme of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo but still harbour hopes of a late decision to include them as part of a review of the process for ‘refreshing’ the Olympic programme presently under way by the International Olympic Committee under its president Thomas Bach’s ‘Olympic Agenda 2020’ initiative.