If you’ve never heard of pickleball, then there is a chance you will be hearing more about the new sport very soon!
LeBron James has connected with two other NBA champions, Golden State Warriors guard Draymond Green and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love in a new ownership group joining Major League Pickleball.
The new professional sports accepted the new ownership group that is comprised of LRMR Ventures, which is James and business partner, Maverick Carter; investment firm SC Holdings; Green and Love; Paul Rivera, chief marketing officer of The SpringHill Company; and Relevent Sports Group co-owner and CEO Daniel Sillman.
“Having SC Holdings, LRMR Ventures, and their incredible group as owners and investors in Major League Pickleball is not just great for MLP, it’s a watershed moment for pickleball in general,” said MLP Founder Steve Kuhn in a written statement. “Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the country, building communities in cities and towns all over the world. This investment and the platform that this group provides will significantly help us with our goal to reach 40 million pickleball players by 2030.”
Pickelball combines various elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong that is played indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court with a slightly modified tennis net.
Major League Pickleball, has 16 teams in the United States. In 2023, there will be six tournaments across six cities for more than $2 million in prizes.
“Pickleball is one of the most exciting growth opportunities in sports because of its committed and engaged community across the U.S.,” said Jason Stein, managing partner of SC Holdings. “People are obsessed with the game, as both participants and fans, and we’re excited to use our collective experience and expertise across sports, media, and entertainment to reach new participants and expand the community. We’re thrilled to become partners of Major League Pickleball–which as a league and sport is just getting started.”
The end of the 2022 season will have 48 players participating in Columbus, Ohio, from October 14 to 16, competing for the largest single-event prize purse: $319,000. The winning team will take home $100,000.
As a bonus, students from the LeBron James Family Foundation’s I PROMISE Program located in Akron, OH, will experience the tournament.
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