Tom Brady and Kim Clijsters turn into newest star athletes to purchase stakes in a pickleball group


Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and tennis hall-of-famer Kim Clijsters have formally hopped on the pickleball practice.

The athletes, together with a group of buyers, have bought a pickleball group, becoming a member of the ranks of LeBron James, Kevin Love and Draymond Green who purchased a group collectively final month.

“I’ve been trying to find a way to extend my professional sports career beyond my 40s, even into my 50s, 60s, 70s…and I think I got the answer,” Brady mentioned in a video posted to Instagram on Wednesday. “Seems like everyone else has the answer too: pickleball.”

“I’m coming to dominate the sport,” he added.

Major League Pickleball announced the acquisition in a press launch Wednesday, saying that Brady and Clijsters purchased an growth group that can start taking part in within the 2023 season.

“We are thrilled to welcome them to our unrivaled roster of strategic partners, who are individually and collectively instrumental in helping us elevate professional pickleball, showcase the joy it brings to millions of people around the globe, and further our ’40 by 30′ campaign – our mission to reach 40 million pickleball players by 2030,” MLP founder Steve Kuhn mentioned within the assertion.

Brady echoed Kuhn’s sentiments, saying he is able to “bring awareness of this thing all around the country, all around the world.”

The group is a part of the league’s plan to go from 12 to 16 whole groups. MLP can also be including to its annual competitions, doubling them from three to 6 occasions.

“I’m thrilled to help showcase professional pickleball and make an impact on the sport through my experience gained in the top levels of professional tennis,” Clijsters mentioned within the press launch.

The group goes to be 50% women-owned with the investments of Clijsters, Wall Street bond saleswoman Callie Simpkins and Knighthead Capital Management monetary advisor Kaitlyn Kerr, who will function the group’s normal supervisor, in line with MLP. The league known as the possession group a “testament to the league’s foundational mission of gender equality.”

Pickleball is one in every of few skilled sports activities the place gamers have the chance to play as co-ed groups in combined doubles matches, along with males’s and ladies’s separate doubles video games. 

The sport, which was invented in Washington state in 1965, has turn into the quickest rising sport within the nation, with 4.8 million gamers in 2021, in line with the 2022 Sports & Fitness Industry Association Single Sport Report on Pickleball. 

The recreation combines parts of tennis, ping pong and badminton, and has gamers rally a plastic wiffle ball forwards and backwards with paddles over a internet. There are courts accessible throughout the U.S. and Canada in recreation facilities, parks, faculties and extra.

In addition to its rising reputation amongst informal gamers within the U.S., MLP is turning into a gorgeous funding alternative for skilled athletes — Super Bowl champion Drew Brees was one of many first to affix the league, buying a stake in a group over the summer time.


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