You’d be forgiven for being unaware of Genius Sports’ newest collaboration, however, with over three million players in the United States alone, pickleball is experiencing rapid growth.
The sport was invented in 1965 in Bainbridge, Washington as a backyard game, and is defined as a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong.
That success has been underlined by a unique data, technology and commercial agreement between the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) – the body representing one of the ‘fastest-growing sports in the world’ – and Genius Sports.
Under the terms of the agreement, Genius Sports has been granted the exclusive rights to capture and distribute live data and video broadcasts from over 1,200 PPA matches per year with its global network of over 150 sportsbook partners.
“This is a significant development for the global development of pickleball and the PPA Tour,” explained PPA Commissioner, Connor Pardoe.
“With this agreement with Genius Sports, pickleball and PPA Tour events will be viewed by more people than ever before. This will further fuel the massive global growth of pickleball, not only from a participation standpoint but, more importantly, by establishing pickleball as a bona fide and exciting spectator sport.”
Each PPA event will feature eight courts of live streaming action per day, offering unprecedented broadcast coverage of pickleball. GeniusLive will also be deployed over the course of the partnership to broadcast this rapidly growing sport with new audiences worldwide.
“For more than 20 years, Genius Sports has established an incredible track record of driving the growth of sports at every level, providing data-driven technology that connects them with fans around the world”, added Sean Conroy, Commercial Director of Genius Sports.
“Our long-term partnership with the PPA will combine our leading capabilities across live streaming, production, and regulated betting to accelerate their growth and expand their global reach.”
The PPA Tour will feature 16 events across the United States in 2021, offering over $1.5 million in prize money, with expansion to at least 20 events in 2022 and over $2.2 million in prize money.
Starting in 2022, the PPA Tour will host major events at the Linder Family Tennis Center in Cincinnati, the Aviva Center in Toronto, and many other venues that have traditionally hosted the biggest events in professional tennis. The PPA Tour features four levels of events: 250s, 500s, 1,000s, and Majors, as well as a full schedule of events for amateur and junior players.