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Softball players have earned more opportunities

Softball players have earned more opportunities

Posted by allen on May 27th 2021

Two things can be true at the same time. You can be impressed watching the athleticism and commitment of the athletes during the Women’s College World Series. And you can be disappointed they have so few opportunities after their last game is played. For things to change, brands like us need to do better.

That’s why we created The Next Season. The Next Season is our innovative brand ambassador program that includes a signature shoe deal, a signature apparel deal, and access to brand or career training that will help athletes get further, faster in their next business endeavours.

There is still time to vote for your favorite player to be a part of this program. 

Tell us her story. 

Click here to vote.

Our Top Ten so far

Our top ten vote getters so far are some of the best players in the world.  And some are players you are less familiar with.  It's their stories that matter to us and matter to our community.  We can't wait to select our final five and begin working on their Next Season.

  1. Kayla Green
  2. Sis Bates
  3. Rachel Garcia
  4. Haley Cruse
  5. Maddie Muelken
  6. Kelly Barnhill
  7. Aliyah Andrews
  8. Alese Casper
  9. Bailey Hemphill
  10. Sierra Romero

Are we not entertained

Oklahoma put up 24 runs in one game. They hit 6 home runs in one game. They scored 10 runs in one inning. And still, we get the impression that they can be beaten.

The Washington Huskies stormed back to win two games to stay in the tournament after they felt they were disrespected by the selection committee.

Ole Miss player Nyomi Jones should have been ejected from the game for shoving an umpire. But the game was bananas too.

Oddici Alexander is fun to watch in the circle.

Oregon lost to its old coach.

And the stands had fans again!! The crowds were as loud as ever. These ladies continue to move the game forward. There were ESPN Top Ten Plays, viral videos, and way too many plays at the plate for a lazy weekend. It was just that hype!

And now history

ESPN took us to all 16 sites where opening weekend games were being played. The coverage was unprecedented and amazing.

On Saturday, the Super Regional featuring Oklahoma and Washington will make history as the first collegiate softball game to ever be broadcast nationally on ABC. ESPN will broadcast Game 1. Game 2 will start Saturday at 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on ABC.

----- Turn your TVs on Saturday.  Tune in.  And let ABC know there will need to be more times that Softball is broadcast nationally.-----

Opportunities for athletes are limited, but growing

There is no doubt that these games have been amazing, and we can’t wait to watch more this weekend. Every pitch, every bunt, and every obstruction call really matters. The growth in coverage is a lagging indicator of the growth in the love and following of the sport.

There continues to be a huge disparity between the number of opportunities men and women athletes are presented after they are done playing collegiate sports. The simplest way to close the opportunity gap is for brands like us to offer more opportunities.

The good news is that we are not the only ones trying to make change happen. Competition between brands is heating up and that is good for the entire community. Easton Fastpitch has a line of signature gloves inspired by Lauren Chamberlain, Haylie McLeney, Jen Schroder, and Morgan Stuart. New Balance sponsored a Sidney Romero cleat a few years ago. And Ringor has teamed up with Sam Fischer and Taylor Edwards to wear Ringor cleats throughout the Olympic and professional softball seasons.

And that list of sponsorship and endorsement opportunities for athletes continues to grow. Brands are stepping up. We are making incremental improvements. But the question is how can we make that huge jump? How can we truly start to close the opportunity gap for women athletes?  How do we shift from achieving equity in years and not decades?

We think The Next Season is our best shot at closing the opportunity gap. And we are excited to go on this journey with you.

There is still time to vote for your favorite player to be a part of this program. 

Tell us her story. 

Click here to vote.

#thisisourtime

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