The following press release was issued by the International Softball Federation (ISF):
2020 Olympic Campaign Officially Launched
April 17, 2013
During a packed press conference, the World Baseball Softball Confederation was officially born with ISF President Don Porter and IBAF Riccardo Fraccari signing the WBSC Constitution.
'This is an historic day', said IBAF president and WBSC co-president, Riccardo Fraccari. 'We have brought a new level of worldwide unity and determination to our quest to return to the Games. The 65 million currently playing baseball and softball around the world now have a single federation to rally behind. This is in the best interests of the athletes and putting the welfare of the athletes and the future of sport first, and inspiring young athletes to stand on the highest podium that an athlete can aspire to—the Olympic Games,' he said.
'Our vision is to give every boy and girl in the world a chance to play baseball and softball and to inspire them to take up the sport through the Olympic Games. Baseball-softball is a game that anyone, anywhere can play. There are no barriers to participation. If you’ve got a bat and ball you can play, regardless of age, gender, social, cultural or economic stature. Baseball and softball help to empower women and provide pathways for women and young girls to experience and participate in sport in all cultures,' ISF President and WBSC co-President, Don Porter.
Japanese two-time Olympian, Yukiko Ueno, and two-time World Championship athlete, Nana Okamura, were on hand to help unveil the campaign logo, theme, and website. Also in attendance was Canadian Olympian Jennifer Yee.
The WBSC’s new logo for the campaign was also unveiled. It symbolizes the unique appeal that has made baseball and softball among the world’s most watched, followed and commercially successful sporting brands and experiences.
The theme for its Olympic Games campaign, 'Swing for the Fences,' heralds a global call-to-action for baseball and softball players, supporters and teams to rally behind the Olympic Games bid.
Also, while in Tokyo for the formal launch, the ISF delegation had the opportunity to sit down with members of the Japan Softball Association, including JSA president Hiromi Tokuda and ISF vice president/Asia, Taeko Utsugi, during a luncheon on April 13th. The JSA president updated the ISF officials on activities of the JSA for the current and past year. The ISF president congratulated and thanked President Tokuda for the strong support the JSA has given to Softball development and the Olympic 2020 campaign.