In a major PR coup, the Brisbane Bandits baseball team received more than $2 million worth of free publicity for their club and their home city when players Andrew Campbell and Logan Wade participated in an All Star Game in baseball-mad Taiwan in early July.
Bandit Campbell won the home-run derby, outhitting some of Taiwan’s best professional players and donating over $2,200 in winnings to a local Taiwanese charity. Wade took out third place.
The Bandits’ trip to Taiwan attracted extensive media coverage, with press conferences organised by the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) and TIQ generating online and TV coverage of the visit that reached more than 6 million people in 48 hours.
Bandits’ CEO Mark Ready said the extensive media coverage demonstrated baseball’s high profile in Asia.
‘That’s 4 times more reach than we get over an entire season in Australia,’ he said.
‘It demonstrates the growing importance of expanding the game into Taiwan, Japan and Korea, which have a combined fan base of 70 million.’
This is the first time CPBL has allowed a foreign team to play in the All Star Game, the first step in achieving CEO Ready’s dream of the Bandits playing in Taiwan’s major league.
Ready was in Taiwan with Bandits coach David Nilsson, scouting for Taiwanese players for the team’s upcoming season.
This follows last season’s signing of Taiwan’s highest paid player Chih-Sheng Lin, whose presence in the Bandits’ line-up boosted game attendance and exponentially increased online viewership.
Ready also spent time with TIQ Taiwan commissioner Patrick Hafenstein, attending meetings with potential sponsors, TV stations and the Taiwan office of the CPBL.
Coach Nilsson – who doubles as coach of the Australian baseball team and has recently been crowned a Queensland Great – was also able to celebrate another Queensland success during his time in Taiwan.
Nilsson dined on a Queensland burger at TGIF Taiwan, which has recently contracted Queensland’s Stanbroke beef company to supply 100% beef patties to the popular burger chain.
Queensland has one of Australia’s strongest relationships with Taiwan, and is the only Australian state or territory to operate a trade office in the Taiwanese market.
Queensland is also the most popular Australian destination for Taiwanese migrants and international students, and Queensland merchandise exports to Taiwan were worth $2.8 billion in 2017.
Boosting Queensland exports to Asian markets is one of the priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.