Mizuno first global sponsor of baseball-softball federation

Japanese sportswear manufacturer Mizuno has become the first sponsor of the newly-formed World Baseball Softball Confederation (WSBC).

Japanese sportswear manufacturer Mizuno has become the first sponsor of the newly-formed World Baseball Softball Confederation (WSBC).

Mizuno will become a global sponsor of the organisation, which is a merger of the international federations of baseball and softball designed to improve both sports' chances of returning to the Olympic Games.

The news comes ahead of this week's first World Baseball Softball Congress in Tunisia - Mizuno had previously been confirmed as a sponsor of that meeting.

The company will provide balls to all WSBC events, including three baseball world championships - the youth under-15, under-21 and women's World Cups - this year, plus the under-19 junior men's softball world championship and women's softball world championship.

"The WBSC remains committed to Olympic Games inclusion, and this strategic-partnership - the sponsorship of our youth-, women's- and men's competition platforms - is critical to strongly demonstrating baseball and softball's youth and commercial appeal, and gender-balance," said WSBC co-presidents, Riccardo Fraccari and Don Porter.

No precise financials were released, but WSBC officials said that the deal includes cash and in-kind components.

Mizuno has been a partner of the International Baseball Federation and the International Softball Federation for over 40 years.