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Women’s professional sports leagues generally don’t get the level of fanfare or media buzz that men’s leagues do. And because less attention means less money from sponsors and ticket sales, those who work on the business side of women’s sports sometimes have to find creative ways to bring in revenue. That was the case for the U.S. professional softball league known as National Pro Fastpitch. When one of its teams, the Akron Racers, went belly-up because of financial struggles, the league managed to revive the franchise, thanks to financial assistance from the Chinese Softball Association. In return, Chinese athletes get to compete with U.S. Players, and up their game for the 2020 Olympics.

This story was produced by the Marketplace hub at the ideastream newsroom in Cleveland.

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