ANNOUNCEMENT / PRESS RELEASE
THE APP ANNOUNCES RECORD-BREAKING 2023 PARTICIPATION DATA; PROJECTS SIGNIFICANT LONG-TERM GROWTH
Leading professional, amateur and recreational pickleball organization announces record-breaking data across multiple business functions, including event attendance, sponsorship revenue, viewing figures, and social media growth
The Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) has announced record-breaking data across a range of business functions that highlight the continuing growth and success of the world’s leading professional, amateur and recreational pickleball organization.
Among the highlights is a 15% increase in total player participation at the APP’s season-opening Florida tournaments in Punta Gorda and Daytona Beach. Registration numbers are projected to continue growing, with more than 1,200 players signed up for the tour’s third event, the 2023 APP Mesa Open, and over 840 confirmed in the first week of registration alone for the 2023 APP New York City Open – taking place at the iconic Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York from May 23 – May 29.
This increase in APP Tour participation mirrors the ongoing growth of pickleball across America, as highlighted in the APP Pickleball Participation research, unveiled in January 2023. That research showed the rapid growth of the total population of adult Americans playing pickleball at least once during a 12-month timeframe between 2021 and 2022, a figure announced at 36.5 million, but that is due to be updated by the APP in its latest research, likely to be announced early in Q2.
Sponsorship revenues for the APP already have increased by nearly 50%, buoyed by a combination of new national brands and renewed existing partners. This increase in the APP’s commercial revenue also reflects the increasing interest throughout the national sponsorship community for pickleball, America’s fastest-growing sport, and now, rightly, also one of its favorite sports activities.
With historic linear and digital broadcast deals in place for 2023 with CBS Sports Network and the ESPN family of networks, the APP has created more opportunities for viewers to watch professional pickleball than at any time in the sport’s history. More than 20 hours of linear broadcasts on CBS Sports Network and ESPN2, along with 200+ hours of livestream broadcasts on ESPN+ and APPTV throughout 2023, guarantees that pickleball fans can watch their favorite sport when and how they desire.
The APP also has invested significant resources into its content-creation capabilities, and publication of world-class video, photography and graphic content through its social media channels. The early results have seen the APP’s cumulative audiences across all platforms grow by nearly 10%, with total engagements and impressions exceeding 100% month-over-month.
With an increasing volume of compelling content to be published by the APP throughout 2023, those numbers are expected to continue to rise dramatically, helping fuel the APP’s growth and awareness both domestically and abroad.
“As stewards of pickleball, we are proud that the work we are doing is helping support the growth of the sport we love so much,” commented Tom Webb, CMO of the APP. “We are delighted with the success we are seeing across our key business functions, but we will not rest on our laurels. We are more excited than ever about the future for the APP, and the sport of pickleball in general.
“Looking ahead, we’re excited about the 2023 APP Mesa Open, our second USA Pickleball Golden Ticket event of the year. Players know that our focus at APP Tour events is to give them the best possible platform on which to perform, and we are excited to do so in Mesa, and at the multiple other APP Tour, international and Next Gen events we will run throughout the year ahead.”