Featured in the July/ August 2018 Issue of Compete Magazine

For all you sports fans who are smart enough to appreciate women’s sports (and who isn’t!), don’t worry if you can’t join the ASANA (Amateur Sports Alliance of North America) female athletes as they head to New Orleans September 18-22 for the 2018 ASANA Softball World Series.

Thanks to a new partnership with Cloud Sports Network (CSN), you won’t miss the fun and excitement. CSN is the first professional streaming service dedicated to amateur sports coverage, broadcasting tournament games live in a format accessible from any internet-connected device in the world.

ASANA Commissioner Angela Smith announced that more than 75 teams will be in New Orleans for this year’s Softball World Series, making it one of the group’s larger tournaments. She said that, “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 families of the players.”

So if a trip to New Orleans to experience “Ballin’ in the Bayou” with the ASANA women and support your favorite team isn’t in your future, don’t despair. Live broadcasts will begin at 9:00 a.m. EST on Thursday, September 20 and will be available on ASANA’s Facebook page and YouTube channel simultaneously. But here’s the best part – because of the interactivity of the social media platforms, viewers will also be able to leave comments as the games are being played!

“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; that 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 with Jimenez’ assessment. 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.

That statistic 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.

As far as ASANA is concerned, Smith has this to say: “We’ve already started the dialogue with potential advertisers and the response has been extremely positive. They are interested because we are offering the kind of return on investment usually associated only 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,” she continued, “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 our athletes not just once but on an ongoing basis.”

Formed in 2007, ASANA was created 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 them 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 of 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.

If you would like more information on the ASANA World Series, please contact Angela Smith at 404-702-5406 or email her at commissioner@asanaseries.org. For more information on Cloud Sports Network, please contact Roman Jimenez at 619-838-9776.

By Harry Andrew