Little League International Attends Annual NPF Owners Meeting
National Professional Fastpitch (NPF) softball recently held its annual owners meeting in Nashville, Tenn., with Sara Thompson, Softball Manager for Little League International and Nick Caringi, Little League International’s Senior Director of Operations and Education, presenting a report highlighting NPF’s partnership with the Little League Softball program.
The one-year relationship was established to promote Little League Softball to various age groups, while also looking forward to extending the partnership over multiple years.
Chicago Bandits’ pitcher Eileen Canney, a graduate of Paradise Little League South in Paradise, Calif., was selected as the National Professional Fastpitch 2009 Pitcher of the Year. She is among several NPF players who played in the Little League program as children.
Photo Courtesy of Dina T. Kwit
“This season was a great starting point,” Ms. Thompson said. “I see a lot of potential for growth and added exposure for Little League Softball in the coming year. The support shown by NPF to this point has helped our program improve its educational components, while also presenting NPF players as positive role models through a high level of on-field achievement and off-field character.”
During Little League’s presentation, Ms. Thompson and Mr. Caringi discussed the overall benefits generated throughout the year, and laid the groundwork for future collaboration in the areas of education, promotion and marketing.
To date, Little League International has produced several items touting its partnership with NPF including news and feature stories in its Little Leaguer and Coach’s Box electronic newsletters, free skills and drills training for the on-line Coaches Resource Center and Little League Softball days hosted by each NPF team.
“Partnering with NPF provided the platform for Little League Softball to generate some name-face recognition with many of the league’s top players,” Ms. Thompson said. “Several players played Little League as children. Some played baseball and later switched to softball, while others had Little League softball available to them in their home leagues.
“It’s our hope that through Little League Softball days and other related events that the opportunity for today’s Little League softball players to meet and interact with NPF stars is exciting, but also motivational in a way that will keep them involved in the sport,” Ms. Thompson said. “These former Little Leaguers have embraced Little League’s basic values and developed their talent, which brings even more validity to the merits of Little League Softball.”
Little League International is currently considering the feasibility of a multi-year agreement with NPF. Also, both organizations are developing concepts designed to cross-promote participation and involvement in softball. Other promotional tie-ins with the NPF may include events geared toward other components of the Little League program.