Stu Upson, CEO of USA Pickleball, has been named as the first Commissioner of the National Pickleball League (NPL). Upson will join the inaugural and only champions professional pickleball league for players age 50+ from Thursday, June 1.
Stu says, “I am very excited about joining the terrific team at NPL Pickleball and appreciate the league’s commitment to growing the game of pickleball and providing a home for our great Champions Pros.”
Co-founder of NPL Pickleball and pro-baller Michael Chen added, “We are extremely pleased to have Stu join the NPL team. His experience in both business and the pickleball world makes him a heavyweight addition to our league in terms of credibility and relationships. We look forward to a successful inaugural season with the guidance of Stu Upson as Commissioner.
The National Pickleball League has announced the hiring of Stu Upson, the current CEO of @USAPickleball, as the league’s inaugural commissioner. Upson will join the league on June 1 after fulfilling his remaining duties at USA Pickleball. https://t.co/sFzDptCpGE— SportsTravel (@SportsTravel) May 5, 2023
Upson took up the post of USA Pickleball’s first-ever CEO in December 2020 and showed how enthusiastic he is about his new post, also saying, “As Commissioner, I will work hard to ensure that the competition is fair and that the league is on a great footing as we move into NPL’s inaugural season.”
Ex-International Tennis Hall of Fame COO Upson will be present at every one of the six NPL tournament events this year. His responsibilities involve continuing the smooth functioning of competitions and helping team owners to iron out any obstacles they may encounter.
NPL Pickleball is a national team tournament for the top 50+ Champions Division of professional pickleball players. It ran a hugely-successful event last month in which the owners of the six teams drafted new players and released their rosters for the upcoming 2023 season.
A feature of the regular season will be the special weekends that will happen from June to September. These weekends will reach an end-of-season climax with the October championships in Phoenix, AZ.
The event will take place at Chicken N Pickle’s new indoor facility in Glendale, a city approximately 9 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix. Here, contestants will fight for the Championship title and $100,000 in prize money.
Indeed, all their 2023 events will take place at Chicken N Pickle’s state-of-the-art indoor facilities nationwide.
NPL Pickleball has also announced a partnership with Oso Pickleball for the California-based company to supply the official pickleballs for their league matches in 2023. Please email [email protected] for more sponsor information.
Champions Pro players Rick Witsken, Beth Bellamy, Michael “Hammer Mike” Chen, and Tom DeCaprio started The National Pickleball League in 2022.
You can find out more about NPL Pickleball by visiting their website here. You can also call Julie Weston at +1 513-349-5857.
Read more of our coverage about Stu Upson by clicking here.
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