Amazon Prime Signs Multiyear Deal with Professional Pickleball Association

The Emergence of Pickleball and the Growing Appeal of Streaming Coverage

Amazon Prime has entered into a multiyear agreement with the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA), allowing members to enjoy streaming coverage of four tournaments per year. This partnership marks a significant step forward for the sport and highlights Amazon Prime’s commitment to providing diverse sports content for its users.

The coverage will kick off this Thursday with a four-day tournament, starting at the Atlanta Open in Peachtree Corners, Georgia. Amazon Prime Video’s streaming platform will broadcast the tournament globally, showcasing some of the top-ranked players in the pickleball world, including Ben Johns, Anna Leigh Walters, and Anna Bright.

This deal is considered monumental by Connor Pardoe, CEO, and co-founder of the PPA. He believes it will not only benefit the league but also contribute to the growth and development of pickleball as a whole. The exposure generated by Amazon Prime will undoubtedly attract more attention to the sport, helping to popularize it further.

Furthermore, Amazon’s commitment to streaming sports rights demonstrates its dedication to emerging sports leagues and giving exposure to lesser-known sports. Amazon Prime Video has already found success in investing in properties like MMA’s ONE Championship and Overtime Elite Basketball. Now, with pickleball, they see potential for significant growth as well.

Charlie Neiman, the Head of Sports Partnerships at Amazon Prime Video, highlights the explosive growth of pickleball as a decisive factor in signing the deal. As the sport gains popularity, it naturally catches the attention of streaming platforms like Amazon Prime. Neiman believes that investing in emerging sports like pickleball not only caters to the interests of their customers but also presents significant opportunities for growth and engagement.

For pickleball enthusiasts, the addition of streaming coverage on Amazon Prime is welcome news. However, the sheer number of platforms offering pickleball tournaments may create some confusion among fans. The PPA Tour’s 20-plus tournaments in 2023 can be seen across a range of platforms, including ABC, Fox, CBS, YouTube, The Tennis Channel, and FanDuel. Recently, ESPN also announced its coverage of eight of the league’s tournaments, further expanding the sport’s visibility.

Pickleball’s rapid growth is undeniable, with an estimated 36 million people participating in the sport between August 2021 and August 2022. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, pickleball’s participation has grown over 158% in the past three years. This surge in interest is driving the need for more comprehensive and consistent media deals. Pardoe emphasizes the importance of building a stronger brand presence and making pickleball available “anywhere and everywhere” for fans and enthusiasts.

In conclusion, Amazon Prime’s multiyear deal with the PPA marks an exciting development for both the sport of pickleball and the streaming industry. The inclusion of pickleball in Amazon Prime’s sports coverage lineup demonstrates the sport’s growing appeal, while also showcasing Amazon’s commitment to diversifying its streaming offerings. As pickleball continues to gain popularity, it will be interesting to see how this partnership shapes the future of the sport and its accessibility to fans worldwide.

Leave a Comment