Rawlings expands its presence in Australia's growing baseball market

Adds Baseball Australia to existing Australian Baseball League partnership

Jan 14, 2014, 09:00 ET from Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc.

SYDNEY, Jan. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. a subsidiary of Jarden Corporation (NYSE: JAH) today announced new 3-year pacts with the Australian Baseball League (ABL) and Baseball Australia, establishing Rawlings as the Official Baseball, Batting Helmet and Catchers' Gear Provider for both organizations.  Both deals run through the 2016-17 baseball season.

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"Australia continues to be a robust growth market for Rawlings," said Kurt Hunzeker, senior director of global brand marketing for St. Louis, Missouri-based Rawlings.  "As a proud partner of the ABL since its inaugural year in 2010, Rawlings is committed to doing everything we can to help grow the game across the continent.  Coupled with Major League Baseball opening the 2014 Championship Season in Australia, Rawlings' new partnership with Baseball Australia provides us a great opportunity to engage would-be Australian players of all ages and skill levels and introduce them to Rawlings' legendary baseball product lines."

Rawlings' agreements with Baseball Australia and the ABL join its expansive roster of equipment adoptions and official designations by baseball organizations worldwide.  Rawlings is the Official Ball Supplier and Batting Helmet of Major League Baseball® and the World Baseball Classic™, the Official Baseball of Minor League Baseball™, and the Official Bat, Baseball and Batting Helmet of Baseball Canada™.

The partnership with Rawlings exemplifies the all-of-sport approach baseball in Australia has adopted by securing joint partners for its professional league and government association.

"Rawlings has stood by our side since the inception of the ABL," said Peter Wermuth, chief executive officer of Sydney-based ABL.  "The opportunity to align with a company with such a storied sports history such as Rawlings is a great win for our league, and demonstrates that global companies are taking notice of the growth of baseball in Australia."

Baseball Australia began using Rawlings baseballs during its national tournaments this month, with Rawlings also becoming the title sponsor of Baseball Australia's U14 and U16 national championships as part of the agreement.

"Baseball Australia is proud to announce their new partnership with Rawlings," said Brett Pickett, chief executive officer of Gold Coast, Queensland-based Baseball Australia.  "To have the support of one of the premier sporting good providers for baseball is not only significant, but continues to validate that we are on the right track for the evolution of the sport."

In an effort to introduce the game of baseball to more Australians, Hunzeker also announced the launch of Rawlings National Play Catch Month™.  The month-long, #RawlingsPlayCatch campaign beginning in March 2014 celebrates the game of baseball in its simplest form – a game of catch between family and friends.

About Rawlings

Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. is an innovative manufacturer and marketer of sporting goods worldwide.  Founded in 1887, Rawlings is an authentic global sports brand, trusted by generations of athletes from the sandlot to the pros.  Rawlings' unparalleled quality and expert craftsmanship are the fundamental reasons why more athletes choose Rawlings, and why Rawlings is the Official Ball Supplier and Batting Helmet of Major League Baseball®, the official baseball of Minor League Baseball™ and the NCAA®, and the approved baseball, basketball, football and softball of the National High School Federation®.  For more information, please visit Rawlings.com or by phone at (314) 819-2800.

About Jarden Corporation

Jarden Corporation is a leading provider of a diverse range of consumer products with a portfolio of over 120 trusted, quality brands sold globally. Jarden operates in three primary business segments through a number of well recognized brands, including: Outdoor Solutions: Abu Garcia®, AeroBed®, Berkley®, Campingaz® and Coleman®, ExOfficio®, Fenwick®, Gulp!®, Invicta®, K2®, Marker®, Marmot®, Mitchell®, Penn®, Rawlings®, Shakespeare®, Stearns®, Stren®, Trilene®, Volkl® and Zoot®; Consumer Solutions: Bionaire®, Breville®, Crock-Pot®, FoodSaver®, Health o meter®, Holmes®, Mr. Coffee®, Oster®, Patton®, Rival®, Seal-a-Meal®, Sunbeam®, VillaWare® and White Mountain®; and Branded Consumables: Ball®, Bee®, Bernardin®, Bicycle®, Billy Boy®, Crawford®, Diamond®, Dicon®, Fiona®, First Alert®, First Essentials®, Hoyle®, Kerr®, Lehigh®, Lifoam®, Lillo®, Loew Cornell®, Mapa®, NUK®, Pine Mountain®, Quickie®, Spontex®, Tigex®, and Yankee Candle®. Headquartered in Rye, N.Y., Jarden ranks #383 on the Fortune 500 and has over 25,000 employees worldwide. For further information about Jarden, please visit www.jarden.com.

About Baseball Australia

Baseball Australia is the governing body for all levels of baseball throughout the country.  Primarily responsible for the development of the sport – administration, conduct, participation, high performance and promotion – Baseball Australia works with seven (7) State and Territory associations and 600+ clubs across the country.  Baseball Australia also acts as the international liaison and represents Australian Baseball at all international forums.  The national association is a major stakeholder in the Australian Baseball League; the national league delivered in partnership with Major League Baseball.  Team Australia is the national senior representative team for Baseball Australia, competing in the biennial IBAF World Cup and the triennial World Baseball Classic.

About the Australian Baseball League

Since the first pitch of its inaugural season in November 2010, the Australian Baseball League (ABL) has thrilled fans across the country with world class baseball action throughout the summer.  A joint venture between Major League Baseball and Baseball Australia, the ABL was created to provide value-for-money, fan-friendly entertainment for the game's legion of local supporters.  Australia has produced more than 350 players who have signed professional contracts with MLB clubs, and boasts more MLB contracted players than any country outside North, Central, and South America, including baseball powerhouses Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

SOURCE Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc.