Pickleball4America, a newly formed company focused on developing businesses around America’s fastest growing sport, made a series of announcements today highlighted by its merger with the US Open Pickleball Championships®, the launch of a Ballpark Festival Series™ and the closure of its initial round of funding.
The US Open Pickleball Championships draws more players and spectators than any other event in the sport. This year, “The Biggest Pickleball Party in the World®,” will be held April 15-22 in Naples, FL with a record number of pro and amateur participants from around the world expected to compete for the sport’s most coveted championship title.
The Ballpark Festival Series will launch later this year with two of baseball’s most iconic shrines, Fenway Park in Boston and Oracle Park in San Francisco, headlining the schedule. These events will feature professional and amateur tournament competitions as well as open play. More details will be announced in the coming weeks, including additional venues, dates, and prize money. Fenway Sports Management, a global sports management company, is engaged as a strategic advisor to Pickleball4America on the Ballpark Festival Series and national sponsorship.
Funding for Pickleball4America is led by a notable roster of sports and technology investors including Boston Seed Capital LLC, Drive by DraftKings, RA Bowman LLC, Adam, Larry and Jared Franklin, Cowboy Up Investments, Checketts Partners and Knudsen Capital LLC.
The US Open Pickleball Championships was founded in 2015 by Terri Graham and Chris Evon who join Pickleball4America as part of the merger and will continue to operate the event. It attracts over 3,000 amateur and professional players annually. The tournament is held every April in partnership with Collier County at the 65-court, state-of-the-art pickleball facility at East Naples Community Park.
“We are thrilled to integrate the US Open Pickleball Championships into Pickleball4America,” said Mike Dee, investor, co-founder and Chairman. “We thank Terri and Chris for their confidence in us as they had many options. In the end it was a shared vision we all have for the future of this sport that brought us together. We look forward to building upon this amazing event working with the hundreds of volunteers, government, and civic leaders and of course the participants and spectators who together combine to make Naples the capital of the pickleball universe.”
“It has been very clear to both me and Terri that Pickleball4America is fully aligned with our belief that amateur play is the lifeblood of this sport,” said Evon. “We look forward to working together to bring the game to even more players.”
“We care deeply about the future of pickleball and the US Open’s unique place in its fabric. Pickleball4America is the perfect partner to help us build upon the Open’s eight-year legacy as the sport’s most meaningful event for both professional and amateur players,” added Graham.
Pickleball4America, founded in 2022, is focused on developing an ecosystem around America’s fastest growing sport, including events, and digital content, commerce, and community. In 2023, Pickleball4America closed its initial round of funding, merged with the US Open Pickleball Championships® and launched the Ballpark Festival Series™, which is bringing more playing opportunities to amateurs and professionals in iconic venues across the U.S. Join the movement™!