How Pickleball Leverages Technology to Expedite Growth

How Pickleball Leverages Technology to Expedite Growth

For the third year in a row, pickleball is America’s fastest-growing sport — with no signs of slowing down any time soon. The sheer momentum of pickleball is impressive, with:

  • Total pickleball players growing from 3.1 million in 2017 to 13.6 million in 2023
  • An average increase of 223.5% participation from 2020-2023
  • Close to 14,000 places to play pickleball in the United States
  • 47 major pickleball tournaments held in 2023 between the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA), Major League Pickleball (MLP), and American Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP)

To continue pickleball’s growth momentum, the industry leverages technology across multiple categories, from equipment and player training to sales, community building, and more.

5 Ways Technology Contributes to Pickleball Growth

For a sport that was practically invisible a decade ago, the technological advancements in pickleball today are impressive. The pickleball industry leverages technology in surprising ways— from manufacturing advancements to robot coaches. Take a look!

1) Equipment Enhancements

The pickleball paddle industry alone is worth over $152 million according to 2021 data, and it’s estimated to reach $253.8 million by 2028. Paddle manufacturers continue to test different materials for optimal performance. Popular materials for high-end pickleball paddles include graphite and composite. Manufacturers have also enhanced paddles with textured surfaces to help players generate more spin and control. 

Beyond high-performing materials, technology has made its way into the pickleball paddle market in the form of smart paddles. Smart paddles come equipped with sensors that collect data about shot speed, spin, and accuracy and provide technique feedback based on the analysis. 

Additionally, new manufacturing technology has transformed the balls used for the game. Traditional balls were made of hard plastic and lost their bounce over time. Optimized balls are constructed from a quality polymer blend for a more consistent performance. 

Since pickleball is popular in residential areas, manufacturers have also created noise-dampening balls that reduce sound upon impact with the paddle in order to minimize sound disturbances in communities.

2) Advanced Analytics for Ticketing & Sponsorship Sales

Pickleball isn’t just growing in players, it’s also growing in spectators and fans – which equates to more revenue opportunities. With dozens of professional pickleball tournaments each year, top leagues like the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) are turning to technology to secure blue chip sponsors and premium ticket and hospitality sales.

The PPA and hundreds of other sports organizations rely on the DIGIDECK presentation platform for impactful pitches that stand out from traditional PowerPoints and PDFs.

Beyond captivating and immersive designs, DIGIDECK empowers pickleball leaders with:

  • 360° panoramic venue & premium suite tours
  • Time-saving automations that allow users to instantly create a 100% custom proposal based on user inputs or data
  • Hotspot technology that instantly superimposes prospective sponsors’ logos onto applicable activations— no Photoshop needed
  • Backend analytics that allow users to see who viewed their presentation, when, and how long they viewed each slide
  • CRM integrations that allow users to instantly create and send personalized presentations without leaving their CRM
  • A centralized media library with all marketing-approved content in one place
  • Instant live-chat capabilities and real-time alerts to shorten sales cycles

3) Training Aids & Tracking Progress

Dedicated pickleball players— from hobbyists to professionals leverage technology advancements to further their game. On a smaller scale, pickleball players can utilize fitness rockets like smartwatches to track their stroke analysis and heart rate. 

On a grander scale, devoted players may utilize tech like programmable ball machines that allow players to practice complex drills or even training robots that simulate different spins and shots for 24/7 training availability. 

As players train and refine their skills, they can track their progress with VR (virtual reality) technology. 

VR technology can simulate a pickleball court and provide a training and practice environment for players who want to refine their skills— without the need for a physical court. Players can play against virtual opponents of different skill levels to practice challenging gameplay anywhere, anytime. 

4) Creating Connection & Intrigue on Social Media

At its heart, pickleball is an inclusive, accessible sport. It’s popular among all ages and economic statuses and even celebrities. Because of the inclusive nature of pickleball, the community of players enjoys connecting through social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Reddit. Users share live streams of tournaments, equipment reviews, strategy insights, and more.

Visibility on these social media platforms increases visibility for people who have yet to start playing pickleball— ultimately contributing to more national and global growth year over year.

5) AI Line Calling & Video Replay

AI in sports plays a significant role in fair play and officiating. In pickleball, AI line calling systems track the ball with high-speed cameras and computer algorithms to determine if it landed in or out of bounds. The cameras capture multiple angles of the court, ensuring precise calls. Using technology to eliminate human errors ensures fair play. 

Video replay technology also allows for more fairness and accuracy in pickleball. Officials are able to review specific plays in slow motion if they’re unsure of the correct call or if a player contests a close call.

Move Pickleball Forward With DIGIDECK

As pickleball continues to grow in popularity, technology plays a vital role in training, awareness, connection, fair play, ticketing, and sponsorship. If your local or national pickleball league is looking to streamline your ticketing and sponsorship sales with interactive presentations, DIGIDECK is the perfect addition to your tech stack.

Take advantage of time-saving CRM integrations, actionable analytics, and immersive designs to take your pickleball sales to the next level. Learn more about DIGIDECK by scheduling a free 30 minute demo today!

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