: Tom Brady is joining LeBron James as Major League Pickleball’s latest franchise owner — here’s why

by | Oct 12, 2022 | Stock Market

Pickleball just keeps courting celebrity investors. Is it poised to become the new national pastime? Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and International Tennis Hall of Famer Kim Clijsters are the latest all-star athletes getting in on the pickleball craze.  They are part of an ownership group led by Knighthead Capital Management that has purchased an expansion team for the 2023 Major League Pickleball (MLP) season.

(Yes, there’s a professional pickleball league, founded in 2021). “Of course, I’m excited at the investment opportunity,” said Clijsters in a statement. “But what excites me the most about becoming an MLP owner is that I get to help shape the future of pickleball, a sport I have come to love, with great people — who also happen to be some of my best friends.” Read more: Another reason to love pickleball: The popular sport may strengthen your brain It’s clear that pickleball, often described as a combination of tennis and ping-pong, has been surging in popularity. Nearly 4.2 million Americans played the game in 2020, the Sports & Fitness Industry Association reports, which was an increase of 21.3% over the prior year alone. But recent events suggest there’s still room for considerably more growth. Consider this: NBA greats LeBron James, Draymond Green and Kevin Love also recently joined an ownership group buying an expansion team in Major League Pickleball. Other high-profile pickleball owners include Milwaukee Bucks co-owner and billionaire investor Marc Lasry, lecturer Brené Brown, entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk (aka Gary Vee), as well as former tennis star James Blake. There’s also big bucks to be scored by playing pickleball professionally. The 2022 MLP seas …

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