Pickleball Franchises Cash In on High Demand

Demand for pickleball courts and related services, such as lessons and clinics, continues to grow on a global scale

Pickleball franchises are cashing in on the pickleball craze, following an eye-opening report last year that identified a $900 million investment required to support pickleball’s massive boom with courts and other infrastructure needs. 

The addictive sport has continued to gain popularity among fitness enthusiasts of all ages, with nearly 13.58 million people playing the socially driven and physically accessible sport in the U.S. last year.

Life Time is perhaps the most notable name entrenched in the sport; its founder and CEO Bahram Akradi is an admitted pickleball fan. The luxury athletic club chain just opened its long-awaited seven-court pickleball complex in New York City this week and has other complexes across the country, but competition is heating up. 

Here are some of the recent moves in the growing pickleball franchise space.

The Picklr Gets Investment From Drew Brees

The Picklr is establishing itself in the market, fueled in part by a strategic partnership with Pickleball Inc., a titan overseeing the largest pickleball brands, including Carvana Professional Pickleball Association (PPA Tour), Pickleball Central, PickleballTV and more.

The year is shaping up to be an excellent one for the Utah-based indoor pickleball franchise, which welcomed former NFL star Drew Brees as an investor, owner/area developer and brand ambassador in February. The famed quarterback oversees 30 Picklr franchises in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. 

The Picklr just announced it has 2,760 new pickleball courts in the pipeline for the U.S., with 38 new clubs expected to open in 23 states and 52 additional leases in the final negotiation stages for openings this year and next. 

Demand is high for indoor pickleball facilities, with Jonathan Fornaci, Picklr’s president and chief operating officer, noting that all Picklr locations open with a minimum of 250 founder memberships, but year-to-date, new clubs are opening in the 500-600 range.

The pickleball franchise sees an opportunity to expand beyond the U.S., confirming that final master franchise agreements will be announced in Q2 for Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union. 

Pickleball Kingdom Heads to Canada, Dubai

Like Picklr, indoor pickleball franchise Pickleball Kingdom is also expanding to meet rising demand, with over 140 clubs built or being built in the U.S. The pickleball brand founded by Ace Rodrigues is now ready to make its mark in Canada, starting with multiple clubs in Ontario.

“Universally, the biggest complaint against pickleball is that there aren’t enough courts to meet the demand to play,” said David Haynie, chief pickleball officer at Pickleball Kingdom. “Once our clubs are built throughout Canada, we will not only meet the existing needs but create an introductory path into this great sport for people who don’t currently play.” 

credit: Pickleball Kingdom

Pickleball Kingdom is also heading to Dubai, India and Abu Dhabi, resulting from a recent agreement with Franchise India Group. 

Ace Pickleball Club Opens Clubs Across US

Ace Pickleball Club, another fast-growing indoor pickleball franchise offering unlimited open play and special features such as glow-in-the-dark technology, has seven franchised clubs slated to open this year across the U.S. and expects a minimum of 16 franchises open and operating by the end of the year. 

In the second quarter, Ace Pickleball Club will open new facilities in Tucson, Arizona; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Cleveland, Ohio; Voorhees, New Jersey; Louisville, Kentucky and Fort Myers, Florida.

credit: Ace Pickleball Club

In an interview last summer with Athletech News, Ace Pickleball Club co-founder Jay Diederich identified an opportunity for more school systems to layer pickleball into their athletic programs. 

“The future is very bright,” Diederich said of the sport. “I think we’ve barely scratched the surface on the growth of pickleball going forward.”

The post Pickleball Franchises Cash In on High Demand appeared first on Athletech News.


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