Kyle Beane gets it

Written by Bob on February 17th, 2010

Kyle Beane,left, pictured with his father, Clint. Kyle is the Co-chairperson of the 2010 ISC World Tournament and plays for the Midland Explorers, which is managed by his dad.
Photo By Maddy Flanagan


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YUCAIPA, CA – I don’t know what Kyle Beane does for a living. But I suspect it has something to do with sales or marketing.

Beane along with Dave Lach are the Co-chairmen of the 2010 International Softball Congress World Tournament to be held in Midland, Michigan, Aug. 14-21. And I am learning fast that it would be hard to find two finer promoters for the tournament – and the sport of men’s fastpitch softball.

Recently Beane sent an email to several people including myself. He asked for help in promoting the world tournament by writing a series of stories about the 48 teams playing in the tournament.

“…Throughout the course of the ISC, and leading up to it, we’re hoping to do some things that other hosts haven’t done,” Bean said in his email. “One thing is to provide a unique team profile, article, and feature on our website of all 48 teams…. probably starting around May 1st, and adding three to four per week leading up to the beginning of the tournament.”

What a great idea. And one long overdue.

Telling fastpitch fans across the world about the teams, players, managers, and sponsors who are the “heart of the game” is one of the promotional things this sport needs to do if it is to survive.

Beane understands that to create interest and entice fastpitch fans to come to the tournament, he has to get the word out. Call it marketing, call it advertising, call it promoting…Beane gets it.

Let’s suppose I know very little about men’s fastpitch softball. And let’s suppose I’ve got this firebrand trying to sell me on the sport and this event he calls a “world tournament.”

I’m probably going to have a few questions I want answered before I buy a plane ticket and fly halfway across the country to a softball tournament I know very little about:

“What’s so special about men’s fastpitch softball?”

“Who plays this sport that I’ve heard so very little about?”

“What’s so special about the ISC World Tournament?”

And the most basic question fans of any sport want answered before they shell out (vacation days) and entertainment dollars is:

“What’s in it for me?”

Beane plays infield for the Midland Explorers, a team long recognized as a top-flight team in men’s fastpitch. And a team that is a household word in the sport.

Why? Because of promotion – getting the word out. The Explorers have this wonderful support group called the “Midland Explorers Booster Club.” They do everything from raising money to keep the team afloat to promotion. Without them the Explorers may not even exist.

Do you remember the Decatur Pride of Decatur, Illinois? When they were in operation, I dare say that there wasn’t a fastpitch fan in the world that didn’t know about this team. And again it’s because of promotion.

I don’t know who was behind the effort, but the name “Decatur Pride” was always in the news. Always in publications like the Fastpitch Chronicle run first by Ray Anderson and then later by Bob Tomlinson.

And Executive Sports Editor, Mark Tupper, of the Decatur Herald & Review, wrote story upon story about the team. About the players. About the tournaments they hosted or played in.

So someone within the Decatur Pride organization “got it,” and embraced marketing. Embraced promotion.

In his email, Beane also said, “I think each team has a unique story, and things that are of interest to fans and within the sport. I also see these (stories) potentially being used by local media…”

Finally, someone who “gets it.”

To learn more about the World Tournament, visit Midland World Tournament Website

To learn more about the International Softball Congress visit ISC Website

To read about men’s fastpitch softball, visit these sites:

10 Comments so far ↓

  1. […] From “OttoinFocus” (click banner for original news story) […]

  2. Wally Sidelko says:

    I have known Kyle a few short years,He has been a big supporter to our Shoot out in Bay City Mi.Kyle is a great supporter and a great ambassodar to our great game of fastpitch softballin Michigan… Wally Sidelko

  3. TOM MURPHY says:

    I have been following ISC since the 60’s with the Nitehawks,Lakewood Jets, etc. We remember that era’s pitchers- Klecker, Pearson, Bob Todd, Mark Smith, etc. And NO CROWHOPPING allowed !

  4. Ab Lincoln says:

    I remember playing when there was no DH, no DP, no re-entry. Also remember wood bats and balls that got soft very quickly. Also remember when Stofflet was pitching and was still in his late 20’s. How the game has changed!

  5. eric legge says:

    Often think about the brillance
    of Jimmy Moore in the 80’s.No one
    not even Ty Stofflet dominated like
    Jimmy did. Unbelievable control
    and everything off the same motion.
    His career was short compared to
    the Meredith’s, Zack, Underwood,
    Peaches, but he was the KING of
    the 80’s.

  6. Bob says:

    I saw Jimmy Moore pitch in So. Calif. once, the Pan Am trials, I think in Encino. Yes, he sure was great. But I saw Ty Stofflet pitch too. The names you mention were all in that class we call, “the great ones.”

  7. Dav id Spring says:

    Saw Eric L’s comment and was moved to reply. To me, the same (or slightly later) era is all about Michael White. Talk about the same delivery served up from the same movement: 5-6 speeds, all over the corners or just off (one pitch, max, to try and hit), nothing at all above the thighs, unless he felt inclined to throw the odd (very) rise. I remember in particular the Salt Lake City ISC in ’92 and before that his stint with Transaire from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, when in 1987 he won the whole thing in Saskatoon (if memory serves). Still the best on a given day, and I kind of hate to admit it, given Brad Underwood (my personal favorite to watch the next pitch), Metro Szeryk (maybe the best I have ever seen anytime anywhere, and of course the big Z who makes me weep for missing his personal best in Sioux City (’95). Ain’t it great to remember, though?

  8. David Spring says:

    Sorry– Mike White was, of course, with Teleconnect of Cedar Rapids in 1987. Momentary confusion with Peter Meredith.

  9. Bob says:

    In ’95 saw and was able to photograph Zack’s 69 2/3 scoreless innings, 10-games pitched, 150-plus strikeout phenominal effort. I doubt if any pitcher will every equal those numbers in the ISC WT again. When I tell baseball people of this feat, they look at me like I’m lying, and a nut case.

  10. Dennis Frye says:

    LENT is Spring Training for us Christians , as MLB starts to see activity this week HOPE for better weather is on the way …. Many os us have kept Midland in our Hearts for lowest Budget team to be Competetive each year with the Big Boys ! Most os Roster USA … Currie Stadium is FANTASTIC .. I suggest AUTOGRAPH sessions -each team for FANS !!! EMPACT your SPORT …

  11. Bob says:

    Autograph sessions, good idea. Submit to the Iowa ISC commissioner.

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