The Chicago area will be the center of the Athletes Unlimited Softball universe in 2023 as both events are set to take place at The Stadium at Parkway Bank Sports Complex in Rosemont, Ill, the first professional sports venue dedicated exclusively to women’s professional sports in the United States. All games will be available live exclusively on ESPN platforms.
In all, 31 games across both events will air on ESPN television networks, including eight games in prime time.
For the AUX Softball season, Eric Collins, Chuckie Kempf and Matt Schumacher will handle play-by-play duties, with Amanda Scarborough and Madison Shipman providing color analysis. Savanna Collins, Athletes Unlimited’s Digital Reporter, will also join the broadcast team for insightful in-game segments. The broadcast team for the 2023 Championship Season will be announced at a later date.
In addition, Athletes Unlimited and ESPN will present a number of new innovations this year, including:
- Star in the Stands, featuring a player not playing in the current game joining the commentary team from inside the stands, often among the fans.
- Amid Action, giving fans a unique look into the game by having announcers “lay out” as the production simply “rides along” with a particular player who is mic’d up.
- Yakkertech (championship season only), performance tracking technology that will yield data including ball spin rate and velocity, ball location and movement, and spin axis and efficiency. This information will reflect performance data for pitchers, hitters and umpires and will be delivered to fans and viewers in various ways including spray charts, animations, and graphics.
The fourth championship season of Athletes Unlimited Softball takes place July 28-August 27. The five-week season will feature 60 of the world’s best professional softball players, including 2022 Champion Dejah Mulipola, competing for more than $1 million in compensation.
Created in 2022 as an expansion of Athletes Unlimited Softball to provide more playing opportunities and compensation to athletes and more pro softball for fans, AUX Softball (pronounced A-U-X) will take place June 12-27. The fast-paced, condensed two-week season will feature 42 players competing for more than $300,000 in compensation.
AUX Softball was a massive success during its inaugural season, driving significant growth in viewership, social media engagement and other important metrics for the organization. Taken together, AUX Softball and the Championship Season game presentations on ESPN platforms generated a +56% increase in viewership over the previous year with a different rights holder.
AUX Softball also marks the beginning of the extension of Athletes Unlimited’s partnership with the Air National Guard. Running through the 2024 Athletes Unlimited Basketball season, the Air National Guard will receive brand exposure through telecast and social media programming, as well as provide local Air National Guard recruiters an opportunity to activate onsite and participate in special in-game programming.
In addition to the Air National Guard, Athletes Unlimited Softball is excited to welcome back Mizuno as its Official Softball and Helmet Partner, as well as Marucci and Wilson as Supporting Equipment Partners, in addition to partners Nike, Gatorade and EY.
“With softball surging in popularity, fans who come to The Stadium or watch our Championship Season and AUX Softball on ESPN platforms this summer will be treated to the very best the sport has to offer,” said Cheri Kempf, Athletes Unlimited Senior Vice President and Director of Softball.
Tickets for both seasons are on sale now.
UCLA Standout Megan Faraimo signs for AUX, Championship season
Image Courtesy of UCLA
2022 Champion Dejah Mulipola returns for AUX Softball, Season 4
Dejah Mulipola © Athletes Unlimited, LLC 2023 / Credit: Sara Teteak
No. 1 Pick Sydney McKinney signs with Athletes Unlimited Softball
Image Courtesy of Wichita State
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