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Naomi Osaka, Patrick Mahomes Become The Latest Athletes To Invest In The ‘Fastest-Growing Sport In America’

Photo<a href=httpshowafricacom> <a>Credit G<a href=httpshowafricacom> <a>Fiume Quinn Rooney

 

The latest big athletes to embrace the pickleball trend are tennis sensation Naomi Osaka and NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes!

According to Front Office Sports, the two superstars are planning to invest in a new Major League Pickleball franchise based in Miami, FL.

Tapping Into New Territory

HowAfrica previously reported that fellow famous players LeBron James and Draymond Green were among those who purchased a squad in September 2022. NBA player Kevin Love and James’ longtime business associate Maverick Carter are among those who have jumped on the pickleball bandwagon.

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“When I started playing pickleball, I immediately connected with the sport’s community and its capacity to be both fun and competitive,” said Carter in an interview with CNBC. “To see the sport growing in communities all over is really exciting, and we’re looking forward to bringing our expertise together to try and build a championship team.”

The Latest Investment

While the precise amount of Osaka and Mahomes’ rumored investment in the sport is unknown, Forbes recently stated that an expansion fee in recent partnerships ranges between $1 million and $3 million.

Although there has been no official statement on Osaka and Mahomes’ investment, prominent sports agent Rich Paul is reportedly likely to invest with the squad.

SC Holdings, an investment corporation, was among the first to exhibit interest in the new sport, which is rapidly gaining popularity among participants and fans alike.

“Pickleball is one of the most exciting growth opportunities in sports because of its committed and engaged community across the U.S.,” said Jason Stein, Managing Partner of SC Holdings, according to a press release. “People are obsessed with the game, as both participants and fans, and we’re excited to use our collective experience and expertise across sports, media, and entertainment to reach new participants and expand the community. We’re thrilled to become partners of Major League Pickleball – which as a league and sport is just getting started.”

So, What Is Pickleball?

Forbes describes Pickleball as a combo of three games — tennis, badminton, and Ping-Pong — and reports that it was invented in 1965.

What’s more, according to Fortune, it’s currently considered the “fastest-growing sport in America.” Additionally, it’s not only a game, but also “a way to build a professional network.”

“The Sports & Fitness Industry Association found that pickleball—the ‘fastest-growing sport in America’ — has attracted 4.8 million players nationwide (a 40% increase since 2020),” the outlet reports.

The Major Pickleball League

MLP, established by Steve Kuhn, will have 12 teams competing in the 2022 season, up from eight in the initial competition in 2021.

Another 12 teams are likely to be added to the field in 2023, including one backed by a star-studded group of investors.

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Written by How Africa News

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