When you think of pickleball, you'reprobably thinking of this affluent seniors playing the game on tenniscourts or a country clubs. But that sentiment is changing. For one, the sport has a low barrier ofentry. All you need is a paddle, a plasticball and a net. It's social, it's fun, it's accessible,it's affordable. It's got everything that the consumerwants or needs. That's a big reason why pickleball hasbecome the fastest growing sport in America and is beloved by nearly 5million Americans.

In recent years, thousands of playershave been flocking to tournaments all over the U.S., vying to make a name forthemselves. We introduced the highest prize moneyper event in all of pro pickleball this year. You know, more than $300,000 per event. Some estimate that by 2030 there will beclose to 40 million players worldwide. And investors from everywhere arelooking to seize on the opportunities. But with anything growing as rapidly aspickleball has, there has been some growing pains as pro leagues competefor supremacy hundreds of tournaments.

Each year, with some players findingloopholes in the rules, not enough courts to meet demand, and a flood ofTV deals, sponsors, equipment and apparel brands looking to get in earlyon pickleball. Pickleball is kind of the wild, wildWest right now. A lot of different tours kind ofcompeting for for control of the sport. So how exactly did pickleball evolveinto the massive sport it is today and how will the game, its players andadministrators navigate the growth at a time when everyone wants in onpickleball? I train in the morning for like 2 hours.

I work with a trainer five days a week,and then I'll play a couple of hours. So, I mean, it's probably 4 hours onthe court a day plus in the gym. Plus, you know, I study film and, youknow, just it's just on your mind all the time. This is Ava Wilshire. She was a D1 tennis player in college. However, it wasn't until she became anempty nester that she started playing pickleball. This is like my second opportunity to bereally good at something on my.

Terms. This is where I want to put mytime. This is where I want to put my moneyand this is the people I want to be with. Pickleball has been around since 1965,but its story really begins during the pandemic. From 2016 to 2019, pickleballgrew 7%. The years of the pandemic, the sportexploded by 21% and nearly 15% growth each year over the last five years. Pickleball is average. Annual growth isan estimated 11.5%. To put that into perspective, badmintonand ping pong.

They both lost players while tennisgrew by 4.2%. Pickleball is also played by a widespectrum of players from various age, demographics and income levels. Right here. Pump your ankle up and downfive times. 17 year old Alex Tran got intopickleball during the pandemic and is now a sponsored top player. She's homeschooling so she could spendmore time honing her skills. I got into pickleball around two yearsago. I played my first tournament in July of2020 with my dad and in a local.

Tournament. I ended up winning thattournament and I played a couple of others throughout the year with my dad. We ended up being undefeated for theentire year and I thought I was pretty good at it. So ever since then I washooked. My typical day in my life, I'll wakeup, I'll drive my brother to school, I'll go to a café, study for two, 3hours, get some work done, go out, play some pickleball, drill a little bit, acouple of hours. I'll come home, have a lunch break,then go back out, play some more pickleball. So I'm playing every day,at least 3 hours a day.

Cowlitz, who's played since 2014, hasturned pickleball into a full time job. He runs his tournament here in AtlanticCity, but Kyle is also a co-founder of the brand PB1965. In 2020., Covid hit. Everything stopped. So there went my income. There were no tournaments, there are noclinics, no teaching, nothing. And I stopped playing. I wasn't sure what I was going to dowith my life.

And then once tournaments startedcoming back, year and half later, the sport had changed. There were so manygood players it was really hard to keep winning prize money, so I figured I'dstart to diversify. I didn't really want to do anythingother than pickleball, myself included. Most of the pros actually have to makea lot of money on the side running camps, clinics, teaching. And that's why I started my apparelbrand to help make a little money on the side as more of a side income. Pickleball has generated a lot of buzzas of late, and brands tailored around.

The sport saw business boom in 2020. Pickleball Central, the largestpickleball retailer in the US, saw sales jump between 30 to 40% from 2020 to2021. Legacy brands like Nike and Adidas havejumped on the pickleball craze too. Nike launched its own official buyer'sguide, pointing customers to products best suited to play the game. Adidas launched their own paddles in2021, with prices ranging from $60 to $130. Back when I started, there was only onepaddle manufacturer and now there's.

Hundreds. So you're seeing tons ofpeople jump in the sport trying to take little slices of the pie. By the end of 2021. The global market size for pickleballpaddles was estimated to be over $150 million. It's now forecast to grow toover $250 million by 2028. A million people picked up a paddleduring the pandemic and the research says there's 5 million playerstoday. But those that look at bull sales andGoogle searches think it's much closer to 8 million.

If you look at the numbers growing 30%every year, there will be 40 million pickleball playersby 2030. And that will make pickleball not justthe the fastest growing sport, but probably the the sport withthe greatest participation numbers by double. Pro league centered around pickleballhave also formed, all of which are competing to become the Premier Leaguefor pickleball. There's the App League, the PPA and theMLP. The app and the PPA are sort of theregular tours week in and week out and.

They have singles, doubles and mixeddoubles. They each have 20 or 25 events, so like50 events for the year. Major League pickleball is completelydifferent. It's like the Ryder Cup or the DavisCup of pickleball. This, this coed team format equalplaying time for men and women, equal prize money for men and women. And Major League Pickleball offers thehighest prize money per event in all of pro pickleball. The winning team takes home 100,000$25,000.

Per player, which is a huge payday inprofessional pickleball. Competition amongst these leagues arehealthy for the overall growth of the sport and the business of pickleball. Leagues like the PPA signed some ofpickleball top players to exclusive contracts, essentially barring themfrom playing in other leagues like the MLP. Definitely seeing Major LeaguePickleball step up, get some big time sponsors, big time companies coming inand putting serious money into it. And so it's exciting.

We'll see where it ends up. The value of a team has increasedexponentially in just one year. We're very lucky because we have allkinds of iconic owners like Gary Vaynerchuk. Marc Lasry, the co owner ofthe Milwaukee Bucks, James Blake, former top ten ATP men's tennisplayer. And of course we recently added DrewBrees, LeBron James to buy an expansion team. Even though the MLP was launched in2021, the league is already looking to becoming the sport's crown jewel.

The leagues partnerships with investorsare unique and has made it clear that not everyone with a blank check canbecome an owner or investor. We choose team owners as it relates toreally looking for strategic partners. Media experience andresources, sponsorship, connections andexperience. Lebron's group is already leaning inand working with us on three different projects. It's very important to us notjust to have somebody who can write a check, but who buys into our goal ofgrowing the sport from the top down with propickleball Major League Pickleball.

As of right now, the MLP is looking toexpand their league from 12 teams to 16 and shallow over $2 million in prizemoney, and the cost of investments have grown into the seven figure range asthe league continues to add celebrity investors like LeBron James and mostrecently Tom Brady. We have had an avalanche of interestfrom prospective sponsors and media rights. Our media rights this year are with CBSSports Network. We're having conversations with all themajor linear and streaming broadcasters about 2023 and beyond.

Mlp generates revenue from merchandizingand licensing programs when that will be launched back in 2021. They only had five sponsors afterexpanding its ownership to include the likes of LeBron James and Drew Brees. The league was flooded with newsponsors and potential media rights deals. Celebrity ownership really helps becauselet's look at Drew Brees. 100 million people saw that news. And just imagine if half of 1% of ofthose.

Viewers who saw that news picked up apaddle for the first time, that's 500,000 new players to pickleball. As America establishes itself as themecca of pickleball, there's also a push to shore up growth internationally. The hope is to bring the games to the2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Pickleball is also the fastest growingsport in Canada, according to International Federation of Pickleball. Pickleball is played in 70 countries. 75 is needed for the sport to be playedat the Olympics.

However, the sport needs to overcomesome of its growing pains. Just take tournaments as an example. They've exploded with the game'spopularity as thousands of players descend to events in hopes to win prizemoney or simply to compete. Yet there's been a deluge oftournaments to keep up with demand and player safety is becoming a growingconcern for players and event organizers like Kyle Yates. The sport's evolved so much, but thetournaments are still relatively the same as they were 5 to 10 years ago.

And the sport is changing. It's getting very physical, verygrueling. And so there's a lot of new playerscoming in that are training and playing a lot of tournaments. And physically itmight be too much to them. The sport's evolved quite a bit and andright now some players are playing too many matches in a day. They're not getting enough break inbetween. They're not being supplied with enoughwater. Even so, there's a lot of littlegrowing pains that I'm trying to fix and.

Make sure that the next generation ofplayers are taking care of. Another crucial pain point. There is just not enough courts to keepup with demand. The lack of courts means somepickleball players are taking over existing tennis courts, which hascaused friction between the tennis and pickleball communities. There's been vandalism, noisecomplaints and confrontations on the courts. As of 2021, there were over38,000 pickleball courts in the US, all of which struggled to meet thedemand of almost 5 million players.

By 2030, there would be nearly 40million players and there would need to be an estimated 280,000 courts to meetthat massive demand. A few cities around the country havestarted making that investment. Since its humble beginnings as a simplepickup game for families to enjoy. Two major investment opportunities withan estimated 40 million players by 2030. Pickleball is Goldrush doesn't look tobe ending any time soon. In fact, it's just getting started.
Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America, with an average growth rate of 11.5% in the past five years and over 4.8 million active participants in the U.S. Major League Pickleball says it is planning to reach nearly 40 million global players by 2030. Entrepreneurs such as Gary Vaynerchuk and athlete celebrities like LeBron James, Tom Brady and Drew Brees are all flocking to the investment opportunities to get in on what some say is the gold rush of the sport. But such exponential expansion doesn’t come without major growing pains, including competing professional leagues, health and safety standards at tournaments, loopholes in the rulebook, lack of courts to meet demand and a Wild West investing culture.

Intro: 00:00
Player growth: 01:37
Investment opportunities: 04:31
Pickleball’s future: 10:00

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Why Pickleball Has Tom Brady And LeBron James Investing