NBA Stars Taking Pickleball’s $253 Million Market To New Levels 

By Lesley Green-Rennis

  • LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Kevin Love have invested in Major League Pickleball, a sport that 4.8 million people played in the U.S. last year
  • Pickleball market size is expected to reach $253.8B by 2028

Major NBA stars are getting in on the latest sports craze ‘Pickleball’ with big investments. LRMR Ventures, the family office of LeBron James and Maverick Carter, are purchasing a Major League Pickleball (MLP) team as part of an all-star consortium, along with Draymond Green and Kevin Love. In addition to James and Carter, NBA champion Kevin Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures has purchased a Major League Pickleball expansion team that will compete in the 2023 MLP season. All of these athlete’s are tapping into the Pickleball market which is expected to reach $253.8 billion by 2028.

Why This Matters: Pickleball has seen a growth rate of 11.5% over five years. Additionally, every month 66 new places open to play in the U.S. Nearly 29% of all U.S. players are among the 18-34 age demographic. MLP aims to grow pickleball to 40 million players by 2030.  

LRMR Ventures and SC Holdings have partnered before on a sports related investment, co-leading a $29 million investment in Canyon Bicycles. The new LRMR pickleball team brings unparalleled experience and impact across sports, media, entertainment, and branding. This means their new pickleball collaboration is likely to be just as profitable. 

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country, and MLP aims to expand its community beyond current participants into more diverse communities globally. According to MLP founder Steve Kuhn, “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.”

What’s Next: The sport has already expanded from 12 to 16 teams. Next year players will compete in six tournaments across six U.S. cities for more than $2 million dollars in prize money. 

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Lesley Green-Rennis

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