Is pickleball a fad?

We think heck no. Underlying factors point to a long term trend, not a short term fad.

There are some pretty compelling reasons for its popularity that would seem to suggest it’s here to stay.  Here is an insightful quote from an opinion piece in the Washington Post:

“…..It’s easy to dismiss pickleball as a silly fad; it is, after all, called pickleball. But with so many people of different backgrounds coming together to play it, at a time when such camaraderie feels increasingly rare, there might be lessons to be gleaned from the sport’s sudden ubiquity….”

The current growth rate is probably not sustainable, but its appeal to multiple demographics and the underlying attractiveness factors, create a strong case that it is here to stay and likely to grow further.  The Post opinion piece goes on to say:

“….After all, getting Americans out of the house, moving and talking to one another is harder than ever. In recent decades, social isolation and polarization have been on the rise while overall physical activity has decline. All these trends have been exacerbated by the pandemic….”

The underlying appeal of pickleball (it’s fun, it’s social, it’s exercise, it’s easy) cannot be denied.  The demand for things fun,social, and healthy is not likely to go away.  Even if the growth rate slows, pickleball businesses are worth considering right now because the demand is high, and the supply of well run, well-organized, high quality facilities is only just beginning to appear.  In many many places, aging tennis courts with temporary nets are the norm.   Those will continue to exist (and that’s great!), but we’re already well into the next generation of pickleball.  Places like Naples, Orem, Atlanta and Dallas feature state-of-the-art facilities but still only fulfill a small percentage of the overall demand.

Pickleball Business Advisors is brothers Bill and John Pryor.  We provide a variety of consulting services based on extensive experience in fitness business development, and research into the fast growing pickleball marketplace.  To initiate a feasibility assessment for your pickleball club, or for other consulting, contact us so we can learn about your project.

Author: Bill

Passionate pickler, entrepreneur, experienced fitness industry executive, startup specialist, business model consultant, mentor and advisor. Contact me to brainstorm, discuss or commiserate! .

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