Lowary signs historic deal with BreakThrew Fastpitch
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Chicago Bandits pitcher Paige Lowary became the first NPF player to agree to an On-Player Ad Location (OPAL) partnership, league officials announced Wednesday afternoon after the left-hander signed with BreakThrew Fastpitch for the duration of the 2019 season.
National Pro Fastpitch launched the OPAL program in December. It is designed to subsidize player salaries with at least 90 percent of the revenue paid directly to the athletes themselves. The OPAL program clears the way for individuals and companies to directly support the efforts of players throughout their professional careers.
“I am so excited to partner with Myndie Berka and BreakThrew Fastpitch,” Lowary said. “I worked with Myndie as a kid and it’s so cool to see this come full circle. The OPAL program has already started giving players in the NPF opportunities to partner with companies and it mutually benefits everyone involved. I can’t wait to get back to Chicago this summer and play with an extra-special representation on my arm.”
“The OPAL program has given me, as a small business owner and softball fan, a real way to support the NPF, the Chicago Bandits and specifically Paige Lowary,” Berka, owner of BreakThrew Fastpitch, said. “From a small-town Iowa girl to an NCAA champion to the No. 1 pick in the NPF, Paige is such a big role model for so many young softball players with big dreams. It will be so much fun for the pitchers in my training program to get the opportunity to access Paige, be inspired by her and learn from her.”
National Pro Fastpitch, which is set to begin its 16th season of play, is comprised of six teams. The NPF’s OPAL initiative includes exposure of brans to millions of consumers throughout the 2019 campaign. The complete regular-season schedule of approximately 150 games will feature autograph sessions and skills camps in-venue and games will be livestreamed to millions of viewers in more than 100 counties.
In addition, NPF is set to launch a new highlights and news package in 2019, which will be featured on social-media platforms and websites.
“From a team and league standpoint, we will continue to provide exposure opportunities for players, our league and team partners, and now, the OPAL partners,” NPF commissioner Cheri Kempf said. “These combined efforts are the formula for success in the continued growth of professional fastpitch.”
The 2019 NPF season will lead off in May and culminates with the Championship Series in August. Players throughout the league hail from six different counties, three continents and numerous talents from nations set to compete in the sport of softball at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
To find out more about the OPAL program, please visit www.profastpitch.com.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2004, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success. The NPF affiliate teams consist of the Aussie Spirit, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois, Chicago Bandits, Cleveland Comets and USSSA Florida Pride. NPF players hail from the United States, Australia, Canada and China, among which are the most accomplished and talented players in the sport of women’s softball.
About BreakThrew Fastpitch (BTF)
Established in 2006, BreakThrew Fastpitch provides pitching instruction to girls through in-person training, online training, summer-school programs and small-group camps and clinics. There are currently more than 300 girls from 16 states and three countries enrolled in offseason training with BreakThrew Fastpitch. BTF alumni have gone on to play at more than 80 different collegiate programs, won NCAA National Championships, been named collegiate All-Americans, led the nation in strikeouts at both the NCAA Division I and III levels, played for the U.S. National Team and been drafted and competed in National Pro Fastpitch. More information about BreakThrew Fastpitch can be found at breakthrewfastpitch.com