Japanese sportswear manufacturer Asics will serve as the official apparel sponsor of the European team which will compete at the inaugural Global Baseball Match-Up.
Under the agreement, Asics will provide full kits and training wear to Europe when it takes on world No.1 Japan at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) sanctioned double-header on March 10-11. The kits will be unveiled in host city Tokyo next month.
“The WBSC couldn't be more pleased to partner with a leading, high-performance sports brand, like Asics, to help guarantee a successful launch of this new type of competition in which Europe will make its debut,” WBSC baseball marketing director Masaru Yokoo said. “This is a great day for our sport and another key step forward that highlights baseball's rise and potential in Europe as a viable and attractive property.”
The games at the Tokyo Dome will be the first time a combined European baseball team has been fielded and they are viewed as an important part of WBSC’s strategy in raising the sport’s profile in Europe.
Along with the Asics announcement, organisers today (Tuesday) also confirmed the rosters for next month’s clash. The Netherlands, 2011 world champions, have the most players selected to represent Europe, with the 15 men including 10-time Major League Baseball Gold Glove winner Andruw Jones (pictured).
Italy will have six players heading to Tokyo to represent Europe, while Spain (four), Germany (two) and France (one) will also have a presence for Europe.