A fresh face with a long history in the paddle industry joins pickleball and the Pro Tour
SALT LAKE CITY, UT (April 5, 2022) – JOOLA inks major partnership with the PPA Tour for 2022 and beyond as it seeks to make a big splash in the sport of pickleball. The table tennis powerhouse opened its doors to pickleball consumers April 1 and will begin showcasing its brand-new products on-site at tournaments starting at the Built.com Red Rock Open in St. George, UT.
When table tennis clubs temporarily closed during the 2020 pandemic, the team at JOOLA had the chance to try out pickleball. Although initially just curious, the team became instantly hooked. Since table tennis and pickleball have many similarities, playing one of these two sports will allow a player to acquire the skills of the other more quickly. It was this synergy of skills that made pickleball a great fit for JOOLA. Luckily for pickleball fanatics, JOOLA brings 70 years of experience in table tennis equipment research and innovation and is thrilled to turn those skills to the development of cutting-edge pickleball gear.
“I started playing pickleball last June and what a journey it has been!” said Richard Lee, President of JOOLA. “The best part of the sport is the amazing people I’ve had a chance to meet. I am so excited to bring JOOLA pickleball products to market and help craft the highest quality gear for the next generation of pickleball players.”
JOOLA announced their entrance to the pickleball industry on Friday by naming Ben Johns as their headliner pro and dropping twelve paddle options, a ball, and other accessories. The #1 player in the world in all three divisions, Johns left Franklin Sports to work with JOOLA after his previous contract expired April 1st, 2022. A former high-level table tennis player with a rating near 1900, Johns collaborated with JOOLA to design a custom signature paddle, engineered from the latest technology and built to match his exact specifications.
“JOOLA wants to bring pickleball to the largely untapped market in Asia, something I am passionate about, and is dedicated to helping me craft the perfect paddle,” said Ben Johns about the new partnership. “Add to that JOOLA’s expertise in all things table tennis, a sport that was integral to the development of my pickleball game, and it’s the perfect match for me.”
JOOLA has also signed top pros Chuck Taylor, Allyce Jones, Rachel Rettger, and Eric White to its roster and is eager to continue building its name in pickleball. Rumor has it that we may get to see a table tennis vs. pickleball special event for pros in the not-so-distant future, as well as additional product and apparel releases from JOOLA as the year unfolds.
ABOUT THE PPA TOUR:
The Professional Pickleball Association is the professional tour for the sport of pickleball, organizing events and rankings for the top male and female pickleball players in the world and awarding almost $3 million in annual prize money. With more than 20 events in 2022 at world-class facilities like the Linder Family Tennis Center in Cincinnati and the Darling Tennis Center in Las Vegas, the PPA Tour is the premier provider of professional and amateur events. The PPA Tour’s broadcast partners include FOX Sports, Tennis Channel, CBS Sports, and ESPN. Founded in 2018 and based in Salt Lake City, Utah, the PPA Tour provides an unparalleled experience for all, inviting players to compete and “play where the pros play,” as well as offering unrivaled venues, food/beverages, live DJ entertainment, VIP experiences, giveaways and games, pro player meet-and-greets, shopping, vendors, and more. For more information, go to www.ppatour.com.
JOOLA has been a pioneer in table tennis since its establishment in 1952. In 2022, its expansion into pickleball quickly attracted the biggest names in the sport. As an official table tennis sponsor for three Summer Games and the sponsor of the PPA Tour and top athletes in pickleball, the team at JOOLA combines its expertise with fresh perspectives to bring synergy and innovation to both sports. JOOLA creates a variety of equipment, apparel, and accessories for table tennis and pickleball players, both professional and recreational. JOOLA is based in Rockville, MD and is owned by Sport Squad, Inc. Learn more about JOOLA and see why the sport’s best are joining Team JOOLA by visiting www.joolausa.com.
Senior VP of Marketing