We are excited to announce our new strategic partnership with the World Pickleball Tour (WPT), the largest amateur pickleball tournament provider in the United States. Combining our digital and experiential pickleball audiences will strengthen our collective efforts to better serve the greater pickleball community.
As most pickleball fans are already aware, the sport continues to grow at an astronomical rate. According to the 2023 State of Pickleball Report by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) and Pickleheads, nearly 9 million people played pickleball at some point during 2022, marking an unprecedented 85.7% year-over-year increase in player population.
Pickleball is growing, and we want to play a more significant role in the evolution of the sport we love! What better way to do that than by partnering with the WPT, who have proven their dedication to creating the best possible tournament experience for players of all skill levels?
The founder of Pickleball Union and CEO of Digital Authority Group, Paul Lemley, thinks that by partnering with WPT, we’ll be able better to cover pickleball from the perspective of the core player and invest more of our energy in the people who truly grow the game.
“I think the opportunity that we see is the chance for a digitally native brand and an experiential brand to build upon their individual successes and deliver incredible value for that “core player.” The more we can invest in these active and passionate players, the more we can tailor our content and tournaments in ways that grow the game.”Paul Lemley, CEO of Digital Authority Group
Connecting With The Players
At its core, this partnership values the interests of pickleball players and the brands that also want to serve these players. We’ve set two primary objectives for this collaboration, which we hope will allow the pickleball community to flourish: Audience Integration and Unified Sponsorship Platforming.
By audience integration, we want to champion pickleball players, bring our communities together, and spotlight the people who make pickleball as unique as it is. We cherish the audience and community we’ve built here at Pickleball Union and want to connect further with the player base that the WPT has been cultivating through its incredible events.
“Audiences today demand much more from the brands they trust online, so we knew we couldn’t attract an amazing online audience without some sort of on-court presence. And what better place to build these direct relationships than at the tournaments our audience is already competing in. These tournament players can then become part of the content we publish, not just readers.”Paul Lemley, CEO of Digital Authority Group
Building A Sponsorship Platform
The second objective of the partnership is to create a uniform sponsorship platform for pickleball brands hoping to break into the fastest-growing sport in America. Pickleball Union’s connection with pickleball’s online audience pairs perfectly with WPT’s audience of players who attend their tournaments. We hope that the combination of digital and experiential spaces will successfully platform entrepreneurs who intend to create products and services for the betterment of the sport.
Corey Poches, World Pickleball Tour’s Head of Partnerships, thinks that the combined efforts of WPT and Pickleball Union will grant pickleball players a space to grow with the sport and hopefully give them the opportunities they need to excel within the space.
“The consistent theme here has been the focus on the “core player” and providing both this audience and interested brands with the opportunity to experience this to the maximum level through content, event experience, exposure, etc.”Corey Poches, World Pickleball Tour’s Head of Partnerships
World Pickleball Tour doubled the number of tournaments they hosted in cities across the US from 2022 to 2023, and they intend on growing that number to over 50 different events in 2024. They’ve been able to attract a player base of over 10,000 players and hope to continue serving more and more of the pickleball community with each tournament they host.
“We’re focused on providing our tournament players the best experience possible. Partnering with Pickleball Union allows us to continue focusing on the tournament experience while ensuring the excitement remains ignited digitally.”Corey Poches, World Pickleball Tour’s Head of Partnerships
About Pickleball Union
Pickleball Union (PU) is the premier media outlet serving the players and fans of the fastest-growing sport in the United States. Founded in late 2022 by Digital Authority Group, PU features trending news, detailed stories, professional pickleball analysis, and pickleball training advice; all focused on the recreational players driving the most growth in the industry.
PU publishes across its site, newsletter, and social accounts. It plans to invest in trending and featured news production, enhance its newsletter product, and expand into long-form video and audio in 2024.
About the World Pickleball Tour
World Pickleball Tour (WPT) is the largest amateur pickleball tournament provider in the United States. Founded in 2021, WPT creates player-focused experiences designed to ignite and nourish the love of pickleball.
Growing from two events in 2021, nineteen events in 2022, and over twenty-five in 2023, WPT has perfected the pickleball tournament experience, attracting tens of thousands of players nationwide. 2024 plans include over 50 tournaments, camps, trips, and a National Championship, visiting major markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Boston and Chicago.
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