Humana, Inc., the leading Nordic individual and family service company, has long recognized pickleball’s unique low-intensity impact compared to tennis and ping pong, allowing for a competitive and healthy activity while keeping the risk of injury low.
These attractive attributes have seen the sport grow rapidly in the U.S. and led to an increased need for court space nationwide.
Pickleball also provides life-changing benefits on and off the courts, and Humana has consequently announced four new sponsorship agreements with leading pickleball organizations.
“As we have seen pickleball’s popularity soar over the past several years, we’re excited to continue championing the game, partner with leading organizations that are working hard to promote the sport, and make it more accessible to more people in more places, especially to seniors,” said Jennifer Bazante, Chief Marketing Officer at Humana.
“As a leader in integrated care for seniors, we strive to create experiences that enable health, enhance activity, and foster connectivity so seniors can live their healthiest age yet, and there’s no better activity than pickleball that does just that.”
Beyond Traditional Advertising And Branding
Humana’s new pickleball sponsorships go beyond traditional advertising and branding opportunities. They also include senior-focused tournaments and clinics celebrating those who popularized the sport.
Additionally, community impact projects will increase access to the game.
The Four Sponship Agreements
For each sponsorship, Humana is the “Official and Exclusive Healthcare Partner.”
Association of Pickleball Players (APP)
In addition to Humana advertising at televised APP events, Humana and APP will host the inaugural “The Humana Cup,” where senior pros (age 50+) and super senior pros (60+) will compete for prize money at key markets on the APP Tour.
Humana will also establish a wellness and recovery space for players to relax and recover with fitness equipment and nutritious food and drink.
Furthermore, Humana will work with local communities to plan and launch dedicated projects, including providing courts to benefit members of tournament host cities.
D.C. Pickleball Team
In addition to the above, Humana will sponsor the Washington D.C. Pickleball Team (DCPT) through 2022.
Humana’s logo will be on team jerseys worn at matches and events.
Team members include Riley Newman, ranked #2 worldwide; the top women’s duo Jade and Jackie Kawamoto; rising star Christian Alshon, already ranked top 15; and #1 draft pick Sam Querrey.
Professional Pickleball Association (PPA Tour)
Naming rights to the “Humana Championship Court,” which will feature a branded non-volley zone, or “kitchen,” area. This zone will have Humana’s logo on both net sides at over 25 nationally broadcast events in 2023-24.
The partnership also includes advertising at televised PPA Tour events. At four 2024 marquee tournaments, PPA Tour and Humana will host the “Humana Champions Cup” and senior-focused clinics open to the public.
U.S. Senior Pickleball (USSP)
Humana partners with USSP to celebrate recreational and competitive senior players. The goal is to promote pickleball as an affordable, healthy, active lifestyle.
Humana is the presenting sponsor of each USSP Championship event. There are also plans to launch a senior ambassador program in over 160 markets. The focus is hosting senior events and clinics.
In 2023, over 48 million U.S. adults have tried pickleball, per an APP report. Around half of the core players (52%) are 55+, per an SFIA report. Almost one-third (32.7%) of core players are 65+.
National Mall Of Pickleball
These sponsorships follow the inaugural National Mall of Pickleball. This was the first construction of nine temporary courts on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The three-day event, in partnership with the Trust for the National Mall, brought pickleball to “America’s most inviting Front Yard.” Nearly 800 players got 180 hours of free court time against an iconic backdrop.
Humana Inc. prioritizes health first for teammates, customers, and the company. Through Humana insurance and CenterWell health services, we make achieving the best health easier.
This prioritization leads to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, Medicaid, families, individuals, military personnel, and communities.
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