PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENT

APP TOUR AND INTERSPORT JOIN FORCES TO GROW PICKLEBALL

ENHANCED TOUR SCHEDULE

APP Schedule artwork

Association of Pickleball Professionals and Intersport Join Forces to Grow Pickleball

Global agency will navigate the growth of the country’s first pro pickleball tour

CHICAGO (January 20, 2022) – The Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP), the first sanctioned pickleball tour for amateurs and professionals in the United States, today announced a partnership with Intersport, a global leader in sports marketing.

The APP is the official pro tour partner of USA Pickleball, the sport’s national governing body. Intersport will employ its full complement of expertise in property development, sponsorship sales and marketing, broadcast and livestream production, distribution and event management.

“Pickleball’s ascension domestically is practically indescribable,” said Intersport Executive Vice President Drew Russell. “It is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States at both the amateur and professional levels, and we just fell in love with what APP founder Ken Herrmann has created and his vision for the sport.

“Intersport is excited to be working with Ken and his staff, and to integrate our areas of expertise into the APP and pickleball. We truly believe that there is no ceiling for growth.”

Herrmann, a former USTA High Performance professional tennis coach and player, established the APP Tour in June 2019. Along with a few trusted colleagues and the support of pickleball players from across the country, he built the tour from scratch. What started as a single tournament in 2020 has evolved into a robust schedule in 2022, with at least 30 domestic and international stops.

“I am incredibly proud of the foundation that we have built with the APP Tour,” said Herrmann. “There are so many people behind the scenes to thank for our early success.

“By joining forces with Intersport and leveraging its vast capabilities, we’re confident that we will achieve our vision of advancing the game of pickleball globally, supporting the careers of those who play it, and delivering an incomparable fan experience in person as well as on our various distribution channels.”

The new partnership will deliver an enhanced tour structure that elevates the prestige and stature of the APP. Namely, the tour will now feature The APP Elite Series, scheduled to include 13 stops in 2022, the APP Challenger Series, which is scheduled for 14 events, and the APP International Series that will include as many as five stops as part of the 2022 calendar.

More importantly, the partnership will focus on being accommodating and flexible to the needs of today’s pickleball athletes, both professional and amateur. Specifics of this effort include a larger prize pool that approaches $2 million, appearance fees and complimentary event entry will be provided to the top 10 professional men and women and the top five professional senior (50 and up) men and women – according to the World Pickleball Rankings – that compete in each APP Elite Series event, and additional investments ranging from athletic training and nutritional support to broadcast operations and distribution platforms.

Major League Pickleball (MLP) also has announced an increased prize pool for players, amplifying the shared commitment of the APP and MLP to support the careers of professional pickleball players as the sport continues its accelerated growth in the United States and globally.

The new APP appearance fee and lodging stipend financial structure for the top 10 ranked men and women competing in each APP Elite Series event can be found below:

Player Event Rank
No. 1
No. 2
No. 3
No. 4
No. 5
No. 6
No. 7
No. 8
No. 9
No. 10
Appearance Fee
$2,500
$2,500
$2,500
$1,500
$1,500
$1,500
$1,500
$1,000
$1,000
$1,000
Lodging Stipend
$200
$200
$200
$200
$200
$200
$200
$200
$200
$200

The new appearance fee and lodging stipend financial structure for the top five senior men and women competing in each APP Elite Series event can be found below:

Player Event Rank
No. 1
No. 2
No. 3
No. 4
No. 5
Appearance Fee
$500
$400
$300
$250
$250

Finally, the partnership will prioritize the holistic competition experience for the athletes by, among other things, identifying new and historic tournament locations, upgrading existing tournament amenities and implementing quarterly counsel and feedback sessions for tour professionals through an APP Player Advocate Program.

The announcement comes in the midst of the season-ending APP Masters in Boca Raton, Fla. The event runs through Sunday. Thursday’s matches are being streamed online on the APPTV YouTube channel and Facebook page. Matches scheduled for the remainder of the tournament can be found on For the Fans (FTF), USA Pickleball YouTube page and ESPN+.

The full 2022 APP Tour schedule of events can be found on the image at the top of the page. All APP Tour events will be broadcast on the APPTV YouTube channel and Facebook page.

About the APP
Established in 2019, the Association of Pickleball Professionals is the first and only officially sanctioned tour of USA Pickleball. The APP serves amateurs, professionals and senior professionals (50 and older), as well as developing the next generation of champions through its Next Gen series and other youth initiatives. To learn more about the APP, visit www.apptour.org.

About Intersport
Since 1985, Intersport has been an award-winning innovator and leader in the creation of sports, lifestyle, culinary and entertainment-based marketing platforms. With expertise in Sponsorship Consulting, Experiential Marketing, Hospitality, Retail Engagement, Content Marketing, Productions and Property Creation, this Chicago-based Marketing & Media Solutions Company helps its clients engage consumers with compelling ideas, content and experiences. To learn more about Intersport, visit www.intersport.global, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.