These Trailblazing Franchisors Leverage a New, Rapidly-Growing Industry
Pickleball is exploding in popularity, and franchising is embracing it with open arms. This fast-growing sport has captured the attention of millions of Americans for its accessibility and slower pace compared to tennis. Pickleball originated in 1965 in Bainbridge Island, Wash., and it is often described as a mix of tennis, badminton and ping pong all wrapped into one easy-to-play and learn game. According to the Association of Pickleball Professionals, there are 10,000 pickleball courts in the country, and more than 36 million Americans have played the game in the past year. For comparison, it was estimated that only 5 million Americans played in 2021.
Individuals of all backgrounds and athletic abilities can enjoy playing. The game has become so popular that superstar athletes like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Tom Brady have invested in expansion teams in Major League Pickleball. Brands like Holland America, Anheuser-Busch, Skechers and Carvana have also signed pickleball deals, adding interest and credibility to the burgeoning industry. The pickleball restaurant-entertainment model is also gaining steam with newcomers like corporate-owned Chicken N Pickle and Camp Pickle.
In time, we will see if pickleball franchises are a good investment. For now, it looks promising. With rapidly-growing popularity, franchise owners can own a fun business and be on the ground floor of a new and exciting industry.
While the following brands are the first to emerge in pickleball franchising, there surely will be many more to come.
Pickleball Franchise Opportunities
Ace Pickleball Club
The Ace Pickleball Club franchise sets itself apart with year-round indoor play and state-of-the-art technology. CEO Jay Diederich and president Joe Sexton founded the franchise in February 2023 to spread the love for the sport and get new players hooked. They aim to ensure players of all levels feel welcome and part of a tight-knit community. Guests enjoy top-notch playing conditions, expert instruction, and a straightforward membership model with endless chances to learn, compete, and have a blast. By the end of 2023, they plan to open five more clubs, aiming for 40 by the end of 2024.
American Pickleball Association
Founded in 2018 and franchising since 2019, the Colorado-based American Pickleball Association is looking to grow the game across the U.S. Franchise owners build memberships, manage leagues, run tournaments, after-school and summer camp programs, and more. All franchisees need is a passion for the game and a computer that allows them to access the online platform to manage tournaments and more. This home-based business is simple to run with no inventory, no physical location, no staffing requirements, and no overhead.
Dill Dinkers Pickleball
The Dill Dinkers Pickleball franchise is a Maryland-based indoor pickleball concept founded in 2022 by avid players Will and Denise Richards. The couple is on a mission to spread their love for pickleball and community. Each of its Maryland facilities offers indoor courts with fences and outdoor surfaces, event space, a ball machine, and a reservation system. A Virginia-based location is expected to open in 2024. Dill Dinkers offers court reservations for members and visitors as well as clinics, private and semi-private lessons, leagues, business advertising, and rental for private events. To support its franchise expansion, the pickleball franchise announced a partnership with Franchise Well, a leading franchise consultancy. The Dill Dinkers Pickleball Club franchise offering features nine revenue streams, an operating system, a proprietary reporting and management platform, a training system, and a turnkey marketing program, according to a press release. Regional development opportunities are also available.
Pickleball Kingdom is an indoor pickleball franchise that opened in 2022 and began franchising in 2023. The membership model allows entrepreneurs to enjoy recurring revenue. A variety of membership options offer different pricing and perks. The pickleball franchise aims to spread the game to others because it believes it will benefit them physically, socially and spiritually. Ideal franchise owners are passionate about pickleball and have prior franchising experience and access to resources.