The United International Baseball League (UIBL) has been renamed following both a recent change in ownership and a new funding round.
Now called Baseball United, the professional league – created to serve the Middle East and South Asian markets – has regarded the investment as ‘incremental’ for its growth.
The new ownership group includes baseball hall of famers Barry Larkin and Mariano Rivera, as well as Executive and Entrepreneur, Kash Shaikh, and former NYPD Commander of International Intelligence, John Miedreich.
Shaikh is set to serve as Baseball United’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board.
“Today is a big day for our team, and for baseball fans across the world,” commented Shaikh. “Baseball United powerfully brings to life our mission to inspire two billion new fans to fall in love with the game of baseball, and broadens our platform for international development, partnership, and growth.”
Shaikh has spent the past two decades in leadership roles at Procter & Gamble, GoPro, as well as his own companies, including sports marketing firm BSB Sports and growth consultancy BSB Group International.
The new CEO’s sports industry experience includes working with teams, athletes and brands across some of the world’s largest professional sports leagues, including Major League Baseball, the NFL, NBA, UFC, and the Olympics.
“We’re grateful for the strong support we’ve received across the world, and we are looking forward to continuing to build the right way with the right people,” he continued.
The announcement builds upon what has been described as ‘rapid traction’ amongst Baseball Federations across more than 50 countries.
Larkin and Rivera, who have a combined six World Series Championships and 25 All-Star Game selections, will also serve on Baseball United’s new Board of Directors.
Larkin, who spent 19 years with the Cincinnati Reds, has spent most of his post-playing career leading international baseball development in South America and Asia, including serving as the manager for the Brazilian national team from 2013 – 2017.
“Our new league will not only bring more opportunity to hundreds of professional baseball players from around the world, but it will be a benchmark for diversity, equity, and inclusion,” highlighted Larkin.
“Our grassroots academies and development programs will give access to young kids in underserved countries who haven’t had the opportunity to learn the game and absorb the benefits of team sports. That top-down and bottom-up approach is a critical part of our strategy, and I believe it will be a key driver of our success.”
Moreover, Rivera spent 19 years with the New York Yankees, and was the only player ever unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame, also helping build baseball development programs and academies in Panama.
“It’s a blessing to be able to continue to grow the beautiful game of baseball,” concluded Rivera. “The new company structure, along with our new name of Baseball United, positions us for growth in countries that are often overlooked when it comes to baseball.
“And, even more importantly, we now have the right leadership in place to help us succeed. I’m excited to work alongside Kash, Barry and our entire Baseball United team to make that happen.”
The company also revealed a new logo and brand mark that will be used in its worldwide operations. In line with this change in ownership, the Baseball United Showcase will now take place in Dubai in Autumn 2023.