The Lady Dukes softball travel organization, based in Durham, North Carolina, and with teams in 11 states across the country, announced Friday that it has finalized a groundbreaking partnership with win realityan Austin, Texas-based technology company that sells a virtual reality training tool for baseball and softball players.
As part of the deal, Win Reality will provide a three-year sponsorship, reportedly in the low to mid-six-figure range, that will provide qualified college athletes with NIL offers in excess of $25,000 per year for each player.
Win Reality, according to Lamar and his corporate relationship perspective, is looking for athletes to represent their brand when they get to college, and if the player accepts and fits, they can earn an average of $15,000 at $25,000. each year under the new NIL agreement which offers sponsorships to athletes.
“We are excited to use this technology to advance the game of softball,” James Lamar, program president Lady Dukes, told Extra Inning Softball yesterday.
“The only thing we need to do is push the game forward using the market power we have,” Lamar continued, “in the travel space, in particular, to bring in those sponsors who want to do business with and for female athletes.”
A mutual connection that has helped bring the two parties together is a connection to the Lone Star State.
“Win Reality was serious about it and they’re happy and we love it,” says the Lady Dukes chef. “They are based in Texas where we have a strong presence and with athletes across the country we can see their data and watch the players swing in Texas, California or anywhere across the country or the world . It’s such awesome technology, it’s like you’re really there. It’s inexpensive, but the benefits are great.
Win Reality markets virtual reality technology which, according to the company’s website, is “used by thousands of young players and hundreds of professional and collegiate baseball athletes, including a majority of Major League Baseball franchises. and more than 100 NCAA baseball and softball teams”.
The Company provides a baseball or softball bat attachment that attaches to an athlete’s bat for use in batting practice mode.
This YouTube video shows how the product is used and what it looks like when facing, in this case, a college softball pitcher:
Lamar says his organization has been in talks with potential sponsors for several months now and interest in participating has varied, but is growing more and more each month.
“We have spoken to many different entities and companies,” says Coach Lamar, “who are looking to get out of the NIL situation and help the athletes. Some are slow to move, but others have been extremely interested and want to move forward to help the athletes.
Lamar says Win Reality executives quickly understood his vision to help college softball players and that made closing the deal much easier.
“We preach a lot about how you have to win when you step onto the pitch, but you have to win off the pitch as well. It’s time for people to know who these girls are and what their abilities are outside of the game too.
“In Win Reality, we have found a partner who believes in the growth of softball and the softball athlete. They shared our vision with what we want to do. Representatives from Win Reality came to see us in action and how we operate, and they fell in tune with our vision to provide college athletes with more sponsorship opportunities.
Each year, as part of the three-year agreement, Win Reality will provide technology to train children, including those who cannot afford the cost of training, which is currently available via subscription. $19 monthly.
Lamar credits two of his top Lady Dukes executives with finalizing the deal, including Rob Rogersvice president of corporate relations and player development for the Travel Ball organization, based in Texas.
“Rob was very instrumental in the deal,” Lamar explains, “and was involved in the sponsorship discussion for four to six months. He’s aggressive and has that bulldog mentality that helped move the negotiations forward. .
In addition, Kristin Cuyosthe former Texas A&M softball great, will spearhead technology growth in Texas and across the country through this partnership.
Here’s a short clip showing the Lady Dukes in action and the drive of the athletes who lured Win Reality into the partnership:
“This education, including the use of Win Reality technology,” Lamar points out, “will begin as young as 10 and 12′ in the club ball so they can learn early to recognize and learn from their mistakes. and progress to the best of their abilities.”
Lamar believes this new NIL-like agreement will be the start of a rapidly growing sponsorship of collegiate softball athletes around the world.
“It’s time,” Lamar concludes, “someone looked at these girls from the same perspective as the boys for their sacrifices and athletic achievements. Finally, there’s someone who says, “We see you and appreciate you (the female athlete).”
“Now the question is, in terms of sponsoring these great female athletes, ‘Who wants to be next?'”
— Brentt Eads, Extra Softball