Why the rich and famous are investing in Pickleball
Investing in pickleball is becoming a more common occurrence by the rich and famous and here’s why…
LeBron James is a massive name in basketball, and many people think he is one of the best players alive. With NBA titles and an Olympic gold medal under his belt, James has proven himself to be a true champion in the sport of basketball.
What many people don’t know, however, is that James is much more than just a basketball player – he is also a successful business mogul who has made some incredibly savvy investments over the years. So much so that he’s earned more money off the court than on.
Where James invests
By investing in companies such as Blaze Pizza and Lyft, James has multiplied his basketball earnings into even greater wealth. He achieved his long-held dream of becoming a billionaire in 2022. But what’s perhaps even more interesting is his latest investment, which has the potential to make a significant impact on an up-and-coming sport.
That’s right – James has recently invested in a professional pickleball team, showing his commitment to supporting sports beyond basketball.
This investment has the potential to breathe new life into the pickleball community and could help the sport gain even more popularity in the coming years. It’s clear that James is not content to rest on his achievements and is always looking for new and exciting opportunities to make a difference.
If you’re curious to learn more about James’ investment in pickleball and the impact it could have on the sport, please keep reading. There is no doubt that this is just the latest chapter in the incredible story of LeBron James, and we can’t wait to see what he’ll do next.
Investing in Pickleball
As pickleball players, you are likely aware that the sport is rapidly growing, creating communities worldwide and drawing in people who may never have played a sport. The sport’s popularity can be attributed to its unique combination of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton, making it easy for anyone to pick up.
On September 28, 2022, Major League Pickleball announced that James and his venture company, LRMR Ventures, which includes other pro-ballers, had purchased a professional pickleball team and made a $7-figure investment. This decision wasn’t just about making money—James and his friends had become obsessed with the game over the past couple of years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their investment is a testament to the sport’s growing popularity and the potential it has to bring even the most unsuspecting individuals together.
The pickleball community
In an interview with CNBC, James’ business partner Maverick Carter said, “When I started playing pickleball, I immediately connected with the sport’s community and its capacity to be both fun and competitive. To see the sport growing in communities all over is exciting, and we’re looking forward to bringing our expertise together to try and build a championship team.” This commitment to building a successful team shows the dedication that James and his team have toward the sport and its growth.
Pickleball has the power to bring positivity to a community, and if the investors are as passionate about the sport as we all are, their investment is sure to be welcomed. The investment provides financial support and increases visibility and awareness of the sport, which can lead to more players, more tournaments, and more growth. With the sport’s unique blend of fun and competition, it is no wonder that it is gaining popularity around the world.
The Ripple Effect
Following the announcement that James was investing in pickleball, Major League Pickleball (MLP) reports a surge in interest from potential owners and sponsors. MLP’s strategic advisor Anne Worcester states that she and her team have already received over 100 inquiries related to future potential investments and sponsorships. This level of interest is significant because it highlights the growing recognition of pickleball’s potential as a platform for advertisers.
MLP is now able to not only increase the number of pro events but also expand the sport’s reach to new audiences. In the next year alone, MLP plans to increase the number of teams increase from 12 to 16 and from 3 to 6 events respectively. This will provide more opportunities for players to compete and for fans to engage with the sport.
Incentives to increase the number of players and events
But it’s not just about increasing the number of events. MLP is also committed to increasing the prize money from 1 million dollars to 2 million dollars, thanks to the investment from James and his partners as well as future growth potential. This will incentivize players to compete at the highest level and attract new talent to the sport.
MLP is optimistic about the future of pickleball. The league believes that the sport has the potential to reach 40 million players by 2030. As more people discover the fun and fast-paced gameplay of pickleball at the grassroots level, the sport is poised for even greater success. With the backing of high-profile investors like James, the future of investing in pickleball looks bright.
It Doesn’t Stop There for Pickleball
LeBron James has certainly made headlines by investing in pickleball, but he’s not the only one who sees the potential in this growing sport.
Other famous athletes are starting to jump on board, with reports suggesting that Naomi Osaka and Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes are set to invest in a new MLP team based in Miami. This could be a game-changer for the sport, as Osaka and Mahomes are both high-profile athletes with a massive following.
Joining Osaka and Mahomes in the ownership group of the Miami-based team are other notable names, including Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios, NBA super-agent Rich Paul, billionaire tech founder Soichiro Minami, and Matthew Pritzker, a member of the billionaire Pritzker family. While the size of their investments has yet to be disclosed, Forbes reports that the league’s expansion fee in other recent deals has been between $1 million and $3 million. This suggests that this new team is a significant investment opportunity for these high-profile investors.
More significant investing in pickleball
Osaka’s investment is particularly noteworthy given the friendly rivalry that has emerged between the tennis and pickleball communities. With tennis courts being converted to pickleball courts, not everyone is happy about the growing popularity of the sport. However, as one of the top tennis players in the world, Osaka has the status and power to help bridge the gap between the two communities. Her investment sends a clear message that pickleball is here to stay and that it may even become a legitimate alternative to tennis in the future.
Pickleball is no longer just a trend; it’s on its way to becoming a mainstream sport. With more high-profile athletes and investors recognizing the potential of the sport, their involvement is sure to propel pickleball into new and exciting avenues that we may never have dreamed of in the past. We may see more leagues, more teams, and more investment opportunities arise as the sport continues to grow. It’s an exciting time for pickleball, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.