NEW ORLEANS, LA, JULY 5, 2018 The Amateur Sports Alliance of North America ( ASANA ), organizers of the 2018 ASANA Softball World Series in New Orleans, September 18 — 22, has announced a partnership with Cloud Sports Network ( CSN ), the first professional streaming service dedicated to amateur sports coverage, to broadcast tournament games live in a format accessible from any internet-connected device in the world.
"We are expecting over 75 teams for this year's tournament," said ASANA Commissioner Angela Smith, "making it one of our larger tournaments. Being able to broadcast our games live across different social media channels simultaneously will make the 2018 ASANA Softball World Series even more accessible for softball fans and the friends and family of the players."
Live broadcasts will begin Thursday, September 20th at 9:00 am ( EST ) and will be available on ASANA's Facebook page and Youtube channel simultaneously. Because of the interactivity of the social media platforms, viewers will be able to leave comments as the games unfold.
"It's an honor for CSN to be the chosen carrier for the 2018 ASANA Softball World Series," said network founder Roman Jimenez. "For a young venture, this is a really big deal for us. We are looking forward to bringing our technology and viewing experience to the ASANA family."
CSN began broadcasting live softball games in May 2018 and the response has been impressive. In addition to play-by-play and color commentary, the network brings multiple camera angles and places three microphones on the field, to capture all the sights and sounds of the action.
"Unlike baseball, softball at this level is fast-paced," Jimenez said. "Each game lasts only about 50 minutes, which means less time between pitches, between batters and less time between innings. It's an incredibly exciting game to watch on a screen, even for non-softball fans."
The viewers appear to agree. CSN's early test broadcast received thousands of views for an average of more than six minutes per view, more than three times the average viewing time of an online video, which has caught the attention of potential advertisers.
Because the ASANA Softball World Series is an event by and for LGBTQ+ women and their allies, this year's tournament provides a unique marketing opportunity.
"We've already started the dialogue with potential advertisers," said ASANA's Smith "and the response has been extremely positive. They are interested because we are offering the kind of return on investment usually only associated with micro targeting, but on a macro scale.
"There has never been a way for advertisers to reach out directly to the LGBTQ+ athlete in a broadcast medium before because our games have never been on TV. But now, because the 2018 ASANA World Series will be professionally broadcast live across a variety of platforms, and because these videos will always be available for viewing long after their initial broadcast, advertisers now have a way to reach and keep reaching our athletes."
ASANA was created in 2007 as a non-profit organization comprised of women dedicated to promoting the participation LGBTQ+ people in organized softball competition. Currently 25 cities in the United States are member leagues, and many of these leagues participate in the ASANA Softball World Series, which is hosted each year in a different member city.
Cloud Sports Network is the first live-streaming broadcast company dedicated to providing professional level broadcasts to amateur sports. With multiple cameras, on-field microphones and professional play-by-play and color commentary, Cloud Sports Network is finally bringing amateur athletes the coverage they deserve.