The HiCast Sports Network brings youth baseball or softball games into the homes of parents and fans.
Now, HiCast Sports Network is now looking for the 2018 Most Valuable Plays―including the Best Offensive Plays and Best Defensive Plays―from user highlights shared in the app. It has teamed up with Rawlings to award custom gloves and the new 2019 Quatro bats to the top picks.
Stephanie Calabrese, Chief Brand Officer and Co-Founder, says that HiCast has received a whopping 4,000 entries for the contest.
“There are so many highlights that we thought we’d make it a fun event,” she explained. “It seemed like a way fun way to highlight these incredible plays. I’m really excited about it—it’s challenging to narrow it down to the top 25.”
On November 5, HiCast will announce the top 25 semifinalists for each category, which will be selected by the HiCast Sports team. Then, anyone can cast their vote for one or more of the semifinalists, which will narrow it down to the top 10 finalists. The top 10 highlights with the most votes will then move on to the pro ballplayer judge on Saturday, December 1, who will award the top three winners for both categories. The winners will be announced on December 10. All of the finalists will be awarded Rawlings’ Mach Batting Helmet, and the semifinalists will receive the Rawlings Sackpack.
“We’re all about elevating the moments that matter from our players. Our mobile app gives them a tool to save and share their game highlights with their friends and family. Celebrating these game highlights is the key aspect of what we do as a network,” noted Calabrese. ”It’s a great aspect of that.”
With a camera installed behind home plate, it gives viewers the best seat in the house. And with the camera’s ability to zoom in, it means you won’t miss that shoestring catch, diving grab in the outfield or awesome double play.
The network was launched in 2016 and has steadily grown since then.
“We’ve gotten great feedback,” Calabrese said. “It’s a great way to celebrate the players, and it’s been a great way to engage them. It’s fun to see kids and parents sharing [highlights] on social media.”
The testimonials from members and fans say it all:
“I travel every week. As you can imagine, I miss a lot of games. To be able to watch the game when I get back to my hotel room makes me feel like I was there, and I can really talk to the boys about the game and who did what. It makes them feel like I was there in spirit because I actually saw them,” said Valerie Ausband, mother of two youth athletes.
“The fans are very excited. Every day, people are walking up and telling us what a wonderful experience it’s been, to able to talk to people back home who just watched their games. We’re very proud of our partnership with everyone here at Ballparks of America in Branson, Missouri, but especially HiCast,” said Al Solanik, Tournament Director, Cal Ripken Major70 World Series.
“It’s fun! Growing up, I don’t have a single clip of any of my youth baseball days. This is fun for these kids, and that’s why I take the time to save and share their highlights. One day, when they’re 24 years old and they’re telling a girlfriend how great of a baseball player they were, they’ll actually be able to show them,” stated Will Brooks, father of three youth athletes and coach.
“We really like the ability to save the highlights as clips. If one of the boys does something great in a game, we love to save it and share it around. I have also used it with my own sons when it comes to coaching their swings. I show them how the swing effects where the ball goes.” noted Nathan Allen, father of four youth athletes and coach.
As stated, HiCast can also be a valuable teaching tool―and not just for young athletes learning how to play the game and improve. Members of the Central Georgia Umpires have watched games at the Georgia East Cobb Baseball Complex, discussing proper techniques and how they would react to game situations that they view.
“I’m glad our product is a good tool for them,” Calabrese said.
Once the contest is over, look for HiCast to offer a contest for its fast pitch softball players. Both the baseball and softball contests will be annual events.
For next year, Calabrese is looking forward to HiCast becoming even bigger.
“We’re looking to grow as quickly as we can,” she said. “We’re looking forward to more venues being added.”
Go to Hicastsports.com/vote to vote up until midnight December 1.
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