I'm Judy Shaw for NYSE floor Talk joining me today is David Levy he is co-ceo at Horizon Sports and experiences David it's wonderful to have you here thanks for joining me on floor talk thank you Judy thanks for having me down here on the floor uh wonderful to have you so now you recently announced that you're having your inaugural pickleball.

Slam featuring some tennis Legends yeah so talk to me about the event and your sponsors so when we started this company hsne uh 15 weeks ago 15 weeks my partner Chris and I were thinking about areas of focus that we wanted to have in our company and how we wanted to grow our our business and we thought about Formula.

One as one growth area we thought about uh soccer and the World Cup that's happening here in the states we thought about golf being a huge growth opportunity and then pickleball if you look at the facts and figures of pickleball right now uh 36 million people are playing pickleball the growth year over year is 85 percent growth and.

We said wait a minute how do we get involved in this and how do we grow this and one of the things we thought about is taking the biggest names in racket Sports Agassi Mcenroe radican Chang putting them in a million dollar purse pickleball match live from the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood Florida.

And on ESPN on April 2nd all of that seemed to add up pretty well as a pretty exciting event and something that someone will watch and obviously sponsors as well wanting to get involved in it that sounds so exciting now tell me how did you manage to recruit them well our other partner in the event John venison uh who works for Inside Sports.

Has a strong relationship with them he has a Champions uh League uh uh tournament for tennis and so we've had these relationships with these players for many many years and we called them all up and they were all interested in playing wow okay so it seems like they are now you know liking pickleball we so um you know there's there have been some.

Times where Mcenroe has actually said some negative things about pickleball but I think he's coming around in his competitive nature all of them are very very competitive uh Chang and Roddick play it regularly uh Agassi and Mcenroe do play and they are working very hard because at the end of the day these guys are competitive they want to be on the.

Court and they want to win all right so talk to me about the overall popularity of pickleball now I know there's also like an amateur component to the event yeah so uh Sunday April 2nd uh between the semifinals and finals of March Madness uh and we are the lead-in for the women's finals for the first time on Sunday on ESPN we have.

An amateur event on Friday and Saturday so there's 200 amateurs 100 teams uh doubles uh there's a two different divisions there's an 8.0 duper division which is a ranking I don't know if you're familiar with the duper system but it's like a handicap system so an 8.0 combined teams and a 10.0 combined teams they compete for ten thousand.

Dollars over the two days okay and the winner not only wins ten thousand dollars but the winners also get to play against the four Legends really yes so they actually get to see whether they're better than the four Legends wow and that will all be done uh on Saturday uh prior to the event on Sunday oh wow so exciting yes okay so you know you have.

Actually spent many years running Turner Sports so you created the match which is a televised Prime Time Golf event and you also expanded March Madness to multiple networks so you've been very busy with Turner Sports yes and now you have pickleball on ESPN so do you see strong potential business potential in pickleball absolutely this is uh just so.

You know this is the first of many events we're going to have so we have a five event deal with the Hard Rock Casino so they have places in in Las Vegas Atlantic City Nashville we haven't decided where that event is going to and the amateur event the amateur slam we can do that 20 30 times a year so we're building out and branding into this.

Whole pickleball environment and pickleball family and the growth of it so we we are very um uh high potential think that the pickleball is going to be a big opportunity for hsne and we we know that the growth is going to continue to happen one of the things I want to talk.

About also um when it leads to the match itself or the slam itself is the the charity angle um so each of the players are going to have twenty five thousand dollars and they're going to uh bet on each other uh throughout the match that money all goes to charity so they each start with 25 who ends up with the most money at the.

End that goes to their charity of choice they haven't chosen their Charities yet hopefully next week that'll all be announced but I'm really excited about the charity angle to this as well oh that sounds great so now you co-ceo at HSE so talk to me about the brand and your mission so yes hsne has actually three Partners.

Uh I mentioned Chris wild in the beginning but Bill koenigsberg who runs Horizon media is also our third partner in it and uh we're just we're 15 weeks old um our focus is in three pillars we're experiential in activation ownership of Ip and uh Consulting and sales and all that's underpinned with uh.

Data and analytics so you can't do anything without data analytics these days but those pillars of experiential ownership of Ip media Consulting and sales is where hsne is going to be focused on for the next year or two for sure all right well exciting time for you 15 weeks old I mean you've definitely hit the ground running yeah.

Thank you Judy I appreciate it it's very exciting times very exciting well wonderful to talk with you thanks for stopping down and joining me on floor Talk glad to be here
HS&E recently announced its inaugural Pickleball Slam with tennis legends Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, John McEnroe and Andy Roddick airing on ESPN. We talk with co-CEO David Levy about the popularity of #Pickleball and its business potential on #NYSEFloorTalk.