Franklin Sports and USA Pickleball will also be partnering on growth initiatives for the sport, including working towards the goal of making pickleball a Demonstration Sport at the 2028 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The two organizations will work together to develop pickleball programming for schools while also increasing the sport’s presence at retail stores across the country.
“Pickleball is just scratching the surface of what we believe it can become as a sport, and our pickleball partnerships and growing product collection reflect that belief,” said Adam Franklin, president of Franklin Sports. “We share USA Pickleball’s vision of bringing this incredible game to the forefront of the sports world, so we’re very excited to collaborate with their team on a wide variety of growth and development initiatives. This is a sport that has so many amazing qualities – it’s highly accessible, it keeps people active, and it brings people together in a fun yet competitive way. We’re looking forward to working with USA Pickleball to grow and develop the sport, and we can’t wait to see the X-40 ball in action at all of these upcoming tournaments.”
Already the Official Ball of the U.S. Open Pickleball Championships and over 200 independent tournaments annually worldwide, the Franklin X-40 will now be the official ball of USA Pickleball’s flagship National Tournament and its corresponding National Championship Series at Newport Beach Championships, and Regional Championship Series events. Since 2018, the USA Pickleball National Championships tournament has been hosted by the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California – home of the BNP Paribas Open. Each year, thousands of participants compete for the title of National Champion in the weeklong event. In the months leading up to the 2021 Nationals, athletes will compete in a series of regional events to secure their place at Nationals. Over 2,500 athletes have already secured their registration for the 2021 National Tournament, which will take place this December.
“We’re excited to partner with Franklin Sports, a company that continues to play an integral role in growing and bringing pickleball to the forefront of sports for both tournament and recreational players,” said Stu Upson, CEO of USA Pickleball. “This is an all-encompassing partnership with support in the key areas of youth, membership, and competition, and we look forward to getting started.”
Franklin Sports, a global sporting goods brand that manufactures and sells thousands of products across many different categories, entered the pickleball market in early 2016 with the release of the X-40 ball. Just over four years later, the Massachusetts-based company offers a wide collection of pickleball products – paddles, balls, nets, and more – and has partnerships with several professional pickleball players. Ben Johns, the top-ranked pickleball player in the world, is among those partner athletes.
“Through my partnership with Franklin, I’ve seen firsthand just how committed the company is to growing the sport of pickleball,” Johns said. “USA Pickleball has done such a great job bringing the game to the masses—in all parts of the country—and joining forces with a company as passionate as Franklin will only help grow the sport even further. This is a great alliance, on and off the court, and I look forward to being a part of it.”
As the governing body of the sport, USA Pickleball provides players with official rules, tournaments, rankings, and promotional materials. Through its membership programs, youth development initiatives, and educational resources, USA Pickleball is generating unprecedented growth and interest in the sport.
For more information about USA Pickleball, please visit usapickleball.org. Pickleball players interested in learning more about Franklin’s collection of products can visit franklinsports.com/pickleball.