The Future. Pickleball is exploding in popularity thanks to an influx of investment, celebrity backers, and the general accessibility of the game. As TV sponsors rush to get in on the action and spread the passion, expect the sport to become a new American tradition.
Pickleball is growing because of all the fresh green.
- After Tom Brady posted a video of why he loves the sport, Major League Pickleball CEO Brian Levine said followers of the sport doubled the next day. Same when LeBron James announced he was buying the team, the New York Hustlers.
- Marc Lasry, a co-founder of Avenue Capital Group, says that the $100,000 he spent on acquiring a pickleball franchise in 2021 is already worth $10 million.
- And as pickleball participants increased by 159% in three years, CBS and ESPN have signed up to broadcast games.
- With all that in mind, it’s no wonder MLP’s prize pool is already at $5 million.
Why all the love? Gary Vaynerchuk, a pickleball team owner, tells Bloomberg that it’s because it’s a sport that is accessible to almost anyone of any age can participate in — it’s low impact and fun.
No wonder real estate developments are attracting potential residents by building courts. Even NYC’s Central Park is getting on the craze, breaking ground on 14 new courts for parkgoers.