Major League Pickleball partners with Australia for first international expansion
Major League Pickleball (MLP) today announced their first international expansion through a partnership with Pacific Pickleball League (PPL). This strategic partnership will rebrand Pacific Pickleball's teams format to Major League Pickleball Australia.
Pacific Pickleball launched Australia's first professional pickleball league, signing 33 elite local pickleball players to Australia's newest sports teams; Sydney Smash, Melbourne Mavericks, Brisbane Breakers, and Gold Coast Glory.
All teams will now play under the new Major League Pickleball Australia banner and Pacific Pickleball's teams events will now align with the MLP format. The Pacific Pickleball brand will be maintained for open and masters events in the traditional tour format.
Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the U.S., now with over 36 million players. With an estimated 25,000 Australians already playing wherever they can find space, the sport is exploding in popularity in Australia.
"This partnership is a landmark moment for the sport of pickleball. Major League Pickleball is at the forefront of standardizing the best professional pickleball league, not just in the U.S. but globally," said MLP CEO Julio DePietro. "The MLP format is an amazing way to create even more excitement at these already electric team events."
"By partnering with MLP, we will set record levels of prize money and host world-class events, supporting the growth of the sport in Australia," Adam Thompson, CEO & co-founder of Pacific Pickleball, said.
Major League Pickleball Australia will hand out close to a million dollars in cash prizes over the next year.
Pacific Pickleball's President & co-founder, Anthony Liveris, said the newly formed MLP Australia would provide a platform for Australia's elite players to showcase their skills and compete globally.
MLP Australia will kickstart September 8-10 in Brisbane before Melbourne and the Sydney events later in the year – the series will highlight the highest level of the sport in the country and offer the most prize money in the southern hemisphere.
Pacific Pickleball was recognized as the official professional pickleball league of Australia in May. In partnership with the sport's governing body - Pickleball Australia Association - Pacific Pickleball aims to harness the momentum behind the fastest-growing sport in the U.S.
"The explosive popularity of the sport in Australia has created a strong need for professional events. Participation in the sport currently exceeds 25,000 and membership has doubled in the last 12 months." Brendan Lee (Pickleball Australia Association).