USA Baseball and USA Baseball Sports Properties within LEARFIELD announced a multi-year partnership with Bat Around™, a mixed reality “sportstainment” experience that gamifies the batting cage experience for teams, players, and novices, bringing fun and competition to hitting a baseball. As part of the relationship, Bat Around becomes a Developmental Partner of the organization and will also be the presenting sponsor of the USA Baseball Regional Clinics.
Inspired by and created with some of the greatest hitters in MLB history–including three-time USA Baseball alum Matt Holliday and veteran Team USA coach David Eckstein–the Bat Around game includes six “rounds” of play, each testing a different skill, such as hitting line drives, going to the opposite field, situational hitting, or performing in the clutch. Bat Around is accessible to all levels, and players can hit a live ball off a tee, soft toss, front toss, pitching machine, or with live pitching on three skill levels. Players see their results in real time on the video screen and can get a Bat Around Metric (BAM) score in the app, which measures overall skill and tracks performances. In the app, users can also create a digital player card to share.
"We are thrilled to welcome Bat Around as a Development Partner of USA Baseball," said USA Baseball COO David Perkins. "This partnership marks an exciting addition to our ongoing efforts to enhance player development for all ages by gamifying batting practice. Bat Around's entertaining game gets everyone swinging a bat and reinforces fundamentals, so we are confident that this collaboration will help us strengthen the grassroots development of baseball in the United States. We look forward to welcoming them as part of our USA Baseball Regional Clinics program this fall as we introduce Bat Around to the many coaches, parents, and volunteers who attend the one-of-a-kind educational experience."
"Bat Around combines old school hitting principles with new school technology to give people of all ages and ability levels the opportunity to swing a bat,” said Clint Hurdle, Bat Around co-founder and former MLB player and manager. “We are aligned with USA Baseball on making the game more fun and more accessible. Everybody hits!”
"The in-person experience of swinging a bat along with video-game-like gamification is a great experience for newbies and complements the training of existing players,” said Matt Farrell, CEO of Batting Challenge Holdings, the creator of Bat Around. “Our first partnership being with USA Baseball is key in helping grow access and reinforcing the fun side of the game for all.”
The Bat Around app is now available for download through the App Store and Google Play for iOS and Android phones; however, players can experience it at one of seven pilot locations. Currently, Bat Around is available in the following cities:
- Ballwin, Missouri (Rawlings Tigers)
- Brooklyn, New York (Brooklyn Sluggers)
- Colorado Springs, Colorado (The Farm Sports)
- Elmsford, New York (Game On 13)
- Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania (Powerballers)
- Palmetto, Florida (HitLab)
- San Diego, California (Cutternation)
To learn more about Bat Around, or to get Bat Around at your location, visit www.letsbataround.com
USA Baseball Regional Clinics presented by Bat Around are two-day immersive events hosted in professional baseball facilities in the United States. The clinics provide coaches of all levels unprecedented levels of instruction from former MLB players, coaches from MLB and Minor League Baseball, USA Baseball national team alums, national team coaches, and highly decorated coaches from the college and high school ranks. The 2023 events will take place at Wintrust Field in Schaumburg, Illinois, from September 9–10; at Trenton Thunder Ballpark in Trenton, New Jersey, from September 16–17; at AT&T Field in Chattanooga, Tennessee, from October 21-22; and a clinic presented in partnership with MLB and the Arizona Fall League at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona, from November 4–5. For more information on the Regional Clinics or to register, please visit CoachClinics.org or email AndrewBartman@USABaseball.com.
USA Baseball Sports Properties within LEARFIELD was launched in 2020 and is dedicated to representing USA Baseball by developing and managing sponsor relationships with brands looking to align with USA Baseball and its events and programming.