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01/30/2007 12:20 AM ET
New York Yankees and Chinese Baseball Association reach landmark agreement
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The New York Yankees and the Chinese Baseball Association held a press conference today in Beijing, China, to announce a landmark Memorandum of Understanding that for the first time formalizes a strategic alliance between a Major League Baseball club and the Chinese Baseball Association.

The Agreement, subject to Major League Baseball's rules, regulations and agreements pertaining to The People's Republic of China, states that the Yankees will provide the CBA with guidance in training baseball players, which will include sending staff (coaches, player development, scouting and training personnel) to China to assist the CBA. The partnership will also allow the CBA to send staff to the Yankees' facilities in the United States in furtherance of those goals.

The Yankees were represented by Team President Randy Levine, Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Cashman, Vice President and Assistant General Manager Jean Afterman and Michael Tusiani, Vice President of Corporate Sales and Sponsorship. Beijing Womei Advertising Company Limited and Sportscorp China, headed by President and Managing Director Marc Ganis and Managing Director Kenneth Huang, coordinated the meetings and has been instrumental with the Yankees' activities in China.

"The entire New York Yankees organization looks forward to a wonderful relationship with the Chinese Baseball Association," said New York Yankees Principal Owner George Steinbrenner. "I stand firmly behind this agreement, and we will lend our full support to this partnership to ensure a successful and fruitful future together."

"This agreement marks another milestone in baseball's international evolution," said Yankees President Randy Levine. "We are excited to begin work alongside our friends in the Chinese Baseball Association, and they will receive our full support throughout this exciting process. The Yankees brand is recognized around the world, and this unprecedented opportunity allows us to further integrate the Yankees' name and our proud history of success into baseball's global landscape."

"It is a great honor to be a part of this unique and exciting opportunity," said New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman. "Throughout China's history it's easy to see their passion for sports, and their determination to excel in all athletic fields. With that belief in excellence, we are proud to begin work with the Chinese Baseball Association, and we will provide all of our available tools and resources to help develop and cultivate their baseball program from the ground up."

The CBA was represented by Chairman Hu Jianguo, Secretary General Shen Wei and Deputy Secretary General Tian Yuan.

"This is an historic day for the Chinese Baseball Association and the sport of baseball in China," said CBA Chairman Hu Jianguo. "Baseball is a fast-growing sport in China and throughout Asia. By partnering with the New York Yankees, the most successful and recognizable baseball team in the world, the CBA looks forward to expanding the play of this wonderful game throughout China and developing many excellent players. We also look forward to developing world-class training and practice facilities where our Chinese players can be well prepared to compete against the best in the world."

Following the press conference, the Yankees contingent is scheduled to meet with Mr. Feng Jian Zhong, the Vice Minister State General Administration of Sports. Mr. Feng is also the Vice President of the China Olympic Committee.

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