By Duncan Mackay

IBAF ISF logos largeNovember 15 - IBAF-ISF, the new federation formed to try to help baseball and softball regain its place in the Olympics, have hired Helios Partners to run their campaign. 

The International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and International Softball Federation (ISF) agreed last month to come together to present a joint bid to try to persuade the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to reinstate it on the Olympic programme for the 2020 Games. 

Men's baseball and women's softball were both voted by the IOC at its Session in Singapore seven years ago and were dropped after Beijing 2008.

They have now held their first major meeting since the merger between the two bodies was agreed, drawing up an Olympic campaign strategy during a summit in Lausanne, which has included hiring Helios. 

The Atlanta-based firm has a notable track record of helping manage winning bid campaigns, including Pyeongchang's campaign for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. 

It was the company's fourth winning Olympic bid following Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014.

They also worked on Russia's successful campaign to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. 

Helios will provide support to the ISF-IBAF team on preparing the presentations to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Olympic Programme Commission in December and the IOC Executive Board in May 2013, as well as the overall strategy for the campaign.

"We have achieved incredible progress on the merger in a very short period of time, and now we have to really move forward decidedly in other areas", said Don Porter, ISF President.

"We needed a highly professional and experienced agency to support our efforts, and we could not think of better partner than Helios."

Basbeall Beijing 2008 Canada v TaiwanBaseball was dropped from the Olympic programme after the 2008 Olympics in Beijing

The newly formed organisation must also obtain official IOC recognition as the International Federation governing both baseball and softball.

In the interim, the baseball and softball leaders continue to actively discuss common long-term plans for the development of the sports, officials said.

"By combining into a single IF, we now need to bring our athletes and sports back to the forefront and focus on preparing our case for the exceptional value baseball and softball bring to the Olympic Movement." said Riccardo Fraccari, IBAF President. 

"We have a great story to tell and Helios is the perfect partner to help us articulate that."

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