December 5, 2022

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Kevin Durant is latest athlete to buy into Major League Pickleball

Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles in the course of the initially half versus the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center on May well 16, 2021 in the Brooklyn borough of New York Metropolis.

Sarah Stier | Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant is the most recent celebrity athlete using his adore of pickleball huge league.

The NBA All-Star and his organization associate Loaded Kleiman declared Thursday that their company, 35 Ventures, has procured Major League Pickleball’s most recent expansion crew.

Fiscal conditions of the offer were being not disclosed.

In recent months, Important League Pickleball has signed on a variety of huge-name athlete entrepreneurs, together with basketball legend LeBron James and NFL stars Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Pickleball has exploded in attractiveness throughout the pandemic and an increasing selection of athletes and business owners are searching to get in on the action.

In September, a viral online video confirmed Durant taking part in pickleball at a neighborhood recreation center, declaring that he’s “getting the hang of it.” As avid pickleball players and enthusiasts, Kleiman claimed their fascination in the activity was a organic fit.

“We can’t wait to establish this workforce from the ground up, as very well as work to elevate the activity and the league to unprecedented heights,” he explained.

35 Ventures has investments in much more than 75 firms, together with quite a few in sporting activities and media. The company stated it plans to take care of everything from participant relations, marketing, sponsorships and merchandise. It will also use its media network, The Boardroom, to converse about the team and league.

The new partnership also will have a group element. Very similar to his function with 35 Venture’s “Build It and They Will Ball” initiative, which has refurbished basketball courts globally, Durant designs to convey pickleball to underserved communities.

As component of MLP’s enlargement options for up coming calendar year, the league will include 4 teams to 16, double the number of its tournaments to six and offer $2 million in prize revenue.

Pickleball has seen financial commitment on and off the court docket as its acceptance has surged. In 2021, 4.8 million persons played the sport in the U.S., according to a 2022 report by the Sporting activities & Conditioning Field Affiliation.

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