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Adelaide Crows expand operations with baseball team purchase

Adelaide Crows expand operations with baseball team purchase
June 5, 2018

Having been instrumental in attempting to grow the AFL in China, the Adelaide Football Club has moved to broaden its exposure with the announcement of the purchase of the Adelaide Bite baseball team.

Announcing the acquisition, Club Chairman Rob Chapman said that buying a professional baseball team would provide "important market and commercial development opportunities, delivering greater exposure in Asia where baseball is hugely popular, especially in Japan, Korea and increasingly China".

Chapman advised “we have often spoken about the need to diversify.

"Baseball is a proven and popular sport in the United States and Asia, and it expands our brand and footprint offshore."

The Crows will take sole ownership of the Adelaide Bite, which will compete in the revamped Australian Baseball League, set to launch later this year.

The Crows have previously looked to expand its club beyond the AFL, the with the purchase of an eSports team in 2017.

Earlier this year, Club Chief Operating Officer, Nigel Smart said the move into eSports was all about bringing people together across a range of different platforms, stating “we are a community club and we want to bring people together and try to achieve great things, whether that's through football or other pathways.”

In a press conference held in Adelaide on this morning, Crows Chief Executive Andrew Fagan said the acquisition of the baseball club came at no cost, advising “as part of the revamping of the league, there is no capital outlay.

"It was just a commitment to obviously fulfil the terms of the licence that the ABL and Baseball Australia have granted us.

"So effectively it's a zero-cash transaction.

"We're really confident in the modelling that we've done that this will be a net positive for the Bite and for the Adelaide Football Club."

Baseball SA and Adelaide Bite Chief Executive Nathan Davison said the partnership would create new commercial opportunities.

Davidson added “(the partnership) creates new commercial opportunities, supports the existing hard-working staff and will assist in fostering better talent pathways that will benefit generations to come.”

The Australian Baseball League is expanding into Asia later this year when it launches its revamped schedule, which will include teams from Korea and New Zealand.

Chapman described the expansion as a significant moment in the club's history, adding “our board and senior management have a clear focus on building sustained success both on and off the field in a sports and entertainment landscape that is becoming increasingly competitive.

"Baseball Australia fielded significant interest for licenses from throughout Australia and overseas, and we are appreciative of their recognition of both our organisational capability and the importance of Adelaide continuing to be represented at the highest level of baseball in this country."

There will be a minimum of 40 games in the Australian Baseball League, which will be broadcast into Korea with a total audience exceeding 10 million people, with broadcasts into Japan, Taiwan and the United States as well.

The purchase continues a trend of sporting clubs getting involved in other codes.

Image courtesy of Adelaide Bite/Facebook.

1st June 2018 - DEMOLITION COMMENCES AT ADELAIDE’S FOOTBALL PARK

16th May 2018 - AFL SHANGHAI FIXTURE PART OF WIDER SPORTING DIPLOMACY

8th May 2018 - AFL TO CO-HOST ESPORTS LEAGUE OF LEGENDS EVENT IN MELBOURNE 

13th March 2018 - HAWTHORN PRESIDENT JEFF KENNETT SLAMS AFL’S INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION PLANS 

18th May 2017 - AUSTRALIAN FIRST AS ADELAIDE CROWS ACQUIRE ESPORTS TEAM

12th May 2017 - AFL SECURES LAST-MINUTE CHINESE BROADCAST DEAL FOR SHANGHAI GAME

5th May 2017 - AFL LOOKS TO ESPORTS TO ENGAGE WITH NEW AUDIENCES 

28th November 2016 - CHINA’S PLAN TO MASSIVELY EXPAND ITS SPORTS INDUSTRY  

4th August 2016 - BASEBALL AUSTRALIA SECURES FULL OWNERSHIP OF THE AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE 

26th June 2015 - SPORT AT THE HEART OF AUSTRALIAN ‘SOFT DIPLOMACY’

18th March 2015 - SANFL RECORDS PROFITS BOOST AFTER FIRST SEASON AT REDEVELOPED ADELAIDE OVAL 

11th March 2015 - CROWS AND PORT REACH NEW ADELAIDE OVAL REVENUE SHARING DEAL


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