Competitive Edge - Sports & Entertainment Marketing News

Move Over, Tennis and Golf. Networks and Brands Are Cashing In on Pickleball.


During the pandemic, Tyson Apostol, a gregarious former contestant on multiple seasons of the hit CBS show “Survivor,” made a well-timed career pivot. He took a step back from reality TV and went all in on pickleball.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What is pickleball?
  2. Why do you think pickleball is booming in popularity?
  3. How might the sport’s explosive growth represent an opportunity for marketers?
  4. What is the difference between the marketing of sports and marketing through sports?
  5. Using the sport of pickleball, provide an example of each.
  6. When a brand sponsors a pickleball event, are they marketing sports or are they marketing through sports?
  7. Based on information from this story, describe three of examples of how brands are aligning with the sport of pickleball to promote their products and services.
  8. What is one example of a brand that might benefit from aligning with the sport of pickleball? Why?
  9. What is one example of a brand that might not benefit from aligning with the sport of pickleball? Why?
  10. In your opinion, will pickleball continue to increase in popularity or do you think it has peaked? Be prepared to discuss your answers in class.
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.


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