Using Pickleball Sponsorships to attract customers and enhance your brand

There is no question that Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America. With over 36 million active players, the alternative to sports like tennis and others that create a real social fitness environment has blown up in the U.S.  The demographics of Pickleball continue to shift and become more inclusive as the gear market continues to expand and prices come down making it affordable for most segments of the American sports and fitness market-place.
Below are some key demographics shared by Pickleheads with a look into the size and strength of this exploding market.
The key metric above is that there are 36.5 million players and only 13,969+ locations to play.  When you do the math, each location (which could be 1 or more courts on average) services over 2600+ players.  That is an IMPOSSIBLE number to service.  Lifetime Fitness, the premier multi-use gym in America and a place I call home, has 3 Pickleball courts to service a membership of tens of thousands. This leads to tons of unsatisfied members, and a lot of frustration.
Some emerging companies backed by VC and real estate money think the solution is to build massive Pickleball facilities that service a significantly wider swath of players.  We fully support that, but at the end of the day these giant centers are just brick and mortar retail locations. Additionally, these centers also only service small percentages of the market.
This is one of the many reasons we teamed up with Pickleball Pop-Ups: to deliver Pickleball to any market as often or as uniquely as that market requires.  Pickleball Pop-Ups has a devout constitution to go anywhere there is a large enough audience of players. Be it novices or pro level players, no market is too small, no city is too big!
What does this mean for corporate America?
Well, that’s a good question.  Here are some thoughts:
  • Corporate events:  Companies/brands can create their own internal/customer/buyer events hosted by Pickleball Pop-Ups. If Company XYZ wants to do an employee appreciation day, we will bring 2-10 courts to your location or the location of your choice and execute everything from clinics to competitive sessions that even your most ardent players will be challenged at.  Additionally, we will make this into a corporate/brand festival.  So many details to be discussed but as you can imagine this is a unique way to reward your employees and/or customers and clients.
  • Sponsorships: The ability for brands to associate with this great sport and drive consumer awareness/sales is through true activation in an experiential marketing environment that is conducive to:
    • Educating customers
    • Having them touch, feel, participate in and/or consumer your products
    • Retailer tie-ins in any market
    • Associate the brand with a great time in an activity they are passionate about brought to you by the Company/brand
    • Pre-event hype and being front and center of that
    • Local Influencer activation
    • Engage local media personalities to come out and play a friendly tournament style event the day before the event that each station gets their own unique content
    • And so many other in-market executions that make sense for your best results.
Larger brands looking for event “ownership,” should definitely consider Title sponsorship opportunities to truly own the moment.
  • Company owned “tours”:  If your Company is interested in being the sole sponsor in select markets to let’s say support a new product launch in 20 market ADI’s in the US, and you wanted to use Pickleball as a bridge to this highly sought after demographic, let us know. This is a specialty of ours as well.  We would be not only the event promoter but your “partner” so to speak in creative through execution and everything in between. A Company owned Pickleball Pop-Ups tour can provide massive branding in each market leading to a brand recognition amongst the desired demographic at the highest level.
  • Utilize a Celebrity/Pro athlete that plays Pickleball:  Our experience is that whenever a Company utilizes a professional Pickleball player, former athlete or celebrity that shares the love of the sport and the lifestyle that surrounds it, people run to these events. The spectrum of available celebrities/athletes is based on fee range and scope of work. At CelebExperts, one of our expertise is not just finding and negotiating talent deals but helping develop the creative with the sponsors’ team.
If you, your brand/company or organization is interested in any of the above offerings or some other unique event, we would be more than happy to do a thirty (30) minute free consultation to figure out how we can be a trusted resource.
If you have questions or want to set up a zoom call please contact us at: Evan Morgenstein CEO   or Christina Brennan President