New batting cage app and software combines the thrill of swinging a bat with a live
video game experience
NEW YORK, Dec. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Batting Challenge Holdings, Inc., announced today the launch of Bat Around™, a new app and batting cage software that gamifies the batting cage experience for teams, players and novices. It is part baseball and part video game inspired by some of the greatest hitters in Major League Baseball (MLB) history, including David Eckstein, Fred McGriff, Matt Holliday, Luis Gonzalez and more. Bat Around is a game for all ability levels that brings fun and competition to batting cages. The beta version of Bat Around is powered by HitTrax and is available at batting cage test locations in Colorado, Florida, Georgia and New York.
"Bat Around reinforces game strategy and overall hitting skills in a game that is fun to play for anyone who wants to swing a bat," said Clint Hurdle, co-founder and former MLB manager and player. "Whether a current player or beginner, everybody has a swing inside them that we are helping to bring to life."
The Bat Around app is now available for download through the App Store and Google Play for iOS and Android phones. Features of the game include:
- Skill Development – six "rounds," each testing a different skill, such as hitting line drives, going to opposite field, or performing in the clutch
- BAM™ – a decathlon of hitting with the Bat Around Metric (BAM) measuring overall skill
- Level Playing Field – BAM is also a handicap system allowing people with different ability levels to play each other
- Accessible – hit off a tee, soft toss, front toss, pitching machine or with live pitching on three skill levels
Players will see their stats in their BAM score and can track performances. A digital player card allows users to create their own baseball card that can be traded. Pro tips can be accessed through videos from the Hitting Legends Council, whose members have more than 25,000 collective professional hits.
A future version of the game will feature leaderboards showing how players rank against others.
The U.S. market has an estimated 4,000+ batting cages1 with approximately 2,000 having a HitTrax system2, so Bat Around is accessible to thousands of U.S. baseball fans right now. There are nearly 24 million current baseball and softball players3 in the U.S., and active adults who played in the past or those willing to take their first swing can experience the fun and competition of batting through Bat Around.
"Bat Around is perfect for growing usage at existing batting cages and ‘sporttainment’ locations with food, drinks and games," said Matt Farrell, CEO of Batting Challenge Holdings. "It allows people to connect with the ball and others."
The game is inspired by co-founder Clint Hurdle and other current and former MLB players who comprise the Bat Around Hitting Legends Council. Council members advise on Bat Around and include:
- Sean Casey – 3x MLB All Star, TV personality on MLB Network
- Jeff Cirillo – 2x MLB All Star, 1,598 hits, 343 doubles (5x 30+)
- Darnell Coles – World Series Champion, Washington Nationals hitting coach
- David Eckstein – World Series MVP, 2x MLB All Star and 2x World Series champion
- Luis Gonzalez – World Series Champion, 5x MLB All Star, 2,591 hits, 596 doubles, 354 HR
- Travis Hafner – 250 doubles (5x 25+), 213 HR (4x 24+), 731 RBI (4x 100+)
- Matt Holliday – 7x MLB All Star, 4x Silver Slugger, National League batting and RBI champ
- Fred McGriff – 5x MLB All Star, 3x Silver Slugger, 2x HR Champion, World Series Champion
- Juan Pierre – 2,227 hits and led National League 2x in hits, World Series Champion
- Ryan Spilborghs – Career .272 and popular TV/radio broadcaster
- Kevin Young – Two seasons 40+ doubles, three with 20+ HR and two 100+ RBI
Bat Around’s advisory team includes a deep bench of professionals from baseball, Hollywood, elite sports and business. Members include:
- Ashley Eckstein – Voice of Ahsoka Tano in the Star Wars franchise; Founder of Her Universe
- Neal Huntington – Special assistant baseball projects for the Cleveland Guardians; former GM of the Pittsburgh Pirates; player development and minor league operations
- Tom McCarthy – Philadelphia Phillies TV play-by-play; CBS (football), FOX (baseball)
- Mark Schlereth – 3x Super Bowl Champion, 2x Pro Bowler; National Football League analyst for FOX and radio show host
- Molly Secours – Award-winning author, filmmaker and speaker; TED Talk speaker and film/video producer
- Robin Wallace – Attorney, baseball scout and executive, general manager for independent league baseball clubs
- Kevin Wilson – Minor and major league hitting coach; President of Kevin Wilson Baseball, LLC
2 HitTrax company estimate
3 Sports & Fitness Industry Association estimate of baseball and softball (slow pitch and fast pitch) participation
About Batting Challenge Holdings
Batting Challenge Holdings, Inc., (BHC) is a New York-based company specializing in sports technology mixed with innovative games. Follow BCH on LinkedIn.
- Clint Hurdle – 45 years in professional baseball as a player and manager, including 17 years as an MLB manager, named National League Manager of the Year in 2013 (Pittsburgh Pirates) with 1,269 career wins. Managed the Colorado Rockies to their first World Series.
- Ken Byck – Former co-owner of the largest fantasy baseball vacation company licensed by MLB and 10 MLB teams
- Robert Lipps – More than 20 years of investment banking working with private equity firms
BCH Leadership Team
- Matt Farrell, CEO – President of Farrell Sports; formerly with Golf Channel, USA Swimming, United States Olympic Committee and Warner Bros.
- Chris Cutler, Technology – Developer for Zazmic; CMO for OTN Sports & Wine Business Education
- Megan Kunz, Marketing/Project Management – MKTG agency, and former marketer at U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee
- Sam Lesser, Finance & App Dev – Wharton, UPenn; former business analyst for biotech startup; founder of education-focused, charitable businesses
- Zac Logsdon – CEO of Old Hat; sports marketing author; former Director of Graphic Design at University of Oklahoma Athletics
- Mark Piazza, Operations – Former SVP of Operations for NY Knicks, NY Rangers and Madison Square Garden
- Kyle Stark, Baseball – President of Stark Contrast Coaching; former vice president and assistant general manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates
- Jordan Zelin, Partnerships – Former Castle Athletics and Color Me Rad; A&R for NYC-based music labels
Wendy Artman, GroundFloor Media
SOURCE Bat Around