Major League Baseball today announced two critical youth baseball & softball partnerships with EL1 Sports (EL1) and Diamond Kinetics (DK) that will aim to increase accessibility to sports training, support diversity-focused grassroots & development programs, and enhance skills through an engaging digital experience.
EL1 SPORTS X MLB
• EL1, as a new Youth Baseball and Softball Training Partner of MLB, will expand access to high-quality instruction for players of all skill levels and socioeconomic backgrounds.
-- The multi-year partnership will allow EL1 and MLB Clubs to establish or expand training academies within their markets.
-- Additionally, EL1 will offer support for community or Club-run baseball and softball programs, at all levels, with necessary administrative support and training regimens that complement existing coaching systems.
• The EL1 partnership includes a component that will create an ongoing source of funding for grassroots programs such as Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), event-based connections with underserved communities through PLAY BALL, and support the growth of the sport in diverse communities across the United States.
• EL1 currently operates nine indoor training facilities in Washington, Hawaii, Pennsylvania and California, including the three Los Angeles Dodgers Training Academies. EL1 also provides instruction and administrative support for nearly 200 teams, including the Dodgers Dreamteam (formerly Dodgers RBI) program, and hosts hundreds of camps, clinics and tournaments nationwide serving tens of thousands of ballplayers.
• One of the first by-products of the partnership will be at MLB All-Star Week in Los Angeles – where EL1 will be heavily involved in providing instructional programs at the Capitol One PLAY BALL Park and at other locations in conjunction with the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation.
DIAMOND KINETICS X MLB
• Diamond Kinetics, as a new Trusted Youth Development Platform of MLB, will emphasize making player development fun for kids by offering a digital gamification environment through their hitting and throwing technology.
• Beginning in the Summer of 2022, youth players can utilize the DK bat sensor technology and smart baseballs alongside their mobile apps where they can earn achievements, challenge themselves, compete with friends, and track improvement - all the while interacting with MLB Clubs, game content, Statcast data, and other partners (e.g., USA Baseball, EL1 and USA Softball) through MLB-themed digital experiences.
• The DK mobile apps, which can be used anywhere and at anytime, will be accessible by friends and family and can be used as both fun, interactive competitive gaming or coaching opportunities.
• MLB will utilize DK tech integration with key initiatives such as PLAY BALL, RBI, and local Club community programs.
• Diamond Kinetics technology, which is rooted in player evaluation and development analytics services, will continue to support scouting efforts such as the MLB Draft Combine, Breakthrough Series, DREAM Series, MLB ID Tour, High School Home Run Derby, High School All-American Game, States Play and the Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) League.
• DK to expand partnerships across multiple youth baseball & softball community programs in U.S.
These partnerships come on the heels of MOJO Sport recently becoming the “Trusted Grassroots Coaching App” of Major League Baseball, providing parents and leagues with fun, user-friendly youth baseball and softball training and technology in preparation for their 2022 seasons.
“Major League Baseball is excited to formalize our relationships with both EL1 and Diamond Kinetics, both of whom will be steady presences at our youth and amateur programming,” said Tony Reagins, Chief Baseball Development Officer, Major League Baseball. “Together, these innovative partnerships represent our sport’s commitment to supporting the future growth and accessibility of baseball and softball through engaging and fulfilling experiences for kids, parents and coaches.”
Griff Long, Chief Executive Officer of EL1, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to enter into this partnership with Major League Baseball to create more opportunities for all kids to get involved with baseball and softball. We are both strong believers in the power of team sports to educate, empower and elevate young people. But to do that well, we have to create greater access to good facilities with the latest technology, professional instruction, coach and volunteer role models, and more program funding, especially for those in underserved communities. With the backing of MLB, we will expand to have a very significant impact on kids across the country.”
“We are excited to partner with Major League Baseball in such an integrated and powerful way”, said Diamond Kinetics co-founder and CEO C.J. Handron. “As Major League Baseball’s Trusted Youth Development Platform, together we will roll out fun, engaging, and instructional content through our apps to players at all skill levels, from beginners who want to discover the game and build their foundation to advanced players looking to fine-tune their skills and reach their potential.”