Home News PPA: Gambling is Coming to Pickleball

PPA: Gambling is Coming to Pickleball

by The Dink Media Team
Professional Pickleball Association partners with Genius Sports

Thursday, June 17 2021

The Professional Pickleball Association and Genius Sports announce a “long-term” deal that sets the stage for sports betting in pickleball. While the details remain foggy, this is massive, and I don’t use that term lightly, news for our sport.

But who is Genius Sports? They’re a 5-year old publicly-traded company birthed from the 2016 merger of Betgenius, a technology and data supplier to the betting industry, and SportingPulse International, a sports data and software business. The merged entity listed on the New York Stock Exchange just a couple months ago in April 2021 as Genius Sports (NYSE: GENI). But here’s what you really need to know: these guys are big players evidenced by their recent gambling deal with the NFL, which tops their growing list of exclusivities with sports leagues like NASCAR, The English Premier League (soccer) and more.

Why does it matter? Well for one, it paves the way for millions of eyeballs to turn their attention and open their wallets to pickleball. Let’s go with a fancy sentence to drive it home: pickleball’s transition into a betting market will proliferate the sport across the globe and enhance the narrative that pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the US and soon, the world (maybe).

“This is a significant development for the global development of pickleball and our PPA Tour,” said PPA Commissioner Connor Pardoe. “With this agreement with Genius Sports, pickleball and our PPA Tour events will be viewed by more people than ever. This will only further fuel the massive global growth of pickleball, not only from a participation standpoint but, more importantly, as a spectator sport.”

What’s the timing on this? No exact time set, but it’s looking like Q3 2021 and our sources tell us that you’ll most likely be able to place your first bet on a pickleball match in September 2021. Now that the deal is inked, focus shifts to Genius Sports’ tech team as they work to create the math and develop the algorithms necessary to facilitate the betting processes.

Here’s one last interesting tidbit: Genius Sports is a data-driven betting organization with a foundation of fancy technology. Who cares? ESPN does. And hundreds of other major sports and organizations that look to Genius for their data.

All I’m saying is if organizations have access to exclusive data as part of a larger agreement, why wouldn’t they take advantage of it? Hear that? That’s the sounds of more doors opening…

Read the full press release from the PPA here.  

Read the full statement: Link or see below:

PRO PICKLEBALL TOUR SIGNS OFFICIAL DATA AND VIDEO PARTNERSHIP WITH GENIUS SPORTS TO ACCELERATE GLOBAL GROWTH

Long-term exclusive partnership to connect Pro Pickleball with new audiences worldwide 

NEW YORK, NY and LONDON, UK June xxx, 2021 — The Professional Pickleball Association (PPA), the professional tour for the sport of pickleball for men and women, has announced a long-term partnership with Genius Sports, the official data, technology, and commercial partner that powers the ecosystem connecting sports, betting and media, to drive the global growth of the sport.

This partnership will set the stage for regulated sports betting on PPA events for the first time.  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.

Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, with over three million players in the United States alone. Invented in 1965 in Bainbridge, Washington as a backyard game, pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong.

Each PPA event will feature eight courts of live streaming action per day, offering unprecedented broadcast coverage of pickleball. GeniusLive, the award-winning live streaming solution from Genius Sports, will be deployed over the course of the partnership to broadcast this rapidly growing sport with new audiences worldwide.

 “It is an honor to be partnering with Genius Sports in this historic production for Pickleball,” said Harry Cicma, PPA Tour Executive Broadcast Producer and CEO of Harry Cicma Productions, who put together the partnership. “The PPA Tour and Genius Sports are the two leaders in their respective industries, so it is only fitting for the organizations to join forces. The production will be innovative, and it is also exciting for the sports world to have a new professional league in front of an international audience.”

“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”, said 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 sixteen events across the United States in 2021, offering over $1.5 million in prize money, with expansion to at least 20 events in 2022 which will offer 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. Aviva Center in Toronto and many other sites host the biggest events in professional tennis. The PPA Tour features four levels of events, 250, 500, 1,000, and major level events,  in addition to professional level events, offers events for amateur and juniors.

“This is a significant development for the global development of pickleball and our PPA Tour,” said PPA Commissioner Connor Pardoe. “With this agreement with Genius Sports, pickleball and our PPA Tour events will be viewed by more people than ever. This will only further fuel the massive global growth of pickleball, not only from a participation standpoint but, more importantly, as a spectator sport.”

ENDS

About Genius Sports

Genius Sports is the official data, technology, and commercial partner that powers the global ecosystem connecting sports, betting, and media. We are a global leader in digital sports content, technology, and integrity services. Our technology is used in over 150 countries worldwide, empowering sports to capture, manage and distribute their live data and video, driving their digital transformation and enhancing their relationships with fans.

We are the trusted partner to over 400 sports organizations globally, including many of the world’s largest leagues and federations such as the NFL, EPL, FIBA, NCAA, NASCAR, AFA, and PGA.

Genius Sports is uniquely placed through cutting-edge technology, scale, and global reach to support our partners. We are more than just a technology company, we build long-term relationships with sports at all levels, helping them to control and maximize the value of their content while providing technical expertise and round-the-clock support.

About The PPA

The Professional Pickleball Association is the professional tour in the sport of pickleball, organizing events and rankings for the top male and female pickleball players in the world while offering over $2 million in overall annual prize money. Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Utah, the PPA Tour offers a world-class experience for all, including challenging amateur tournaments where players are invited to compete and “play where the pros play,” as well as unrivaled venues, food/beverage, a live DJ, VIP experiences, pro player meet and greets, vendors and more. For more information, go to www.ppatour.com

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