APP Tour and Intersport Join Forces to Grow Pickleball

aap-intersport

Global agency will navigate the growth of the country’s first pro pickleball tour

 

CHICAGO (January 20, 2022) – The Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP), the first sanctioned pickleball tour for amateurs and professionals in the United States, today announced a partnership with Intersport, a global leader in sports marketing.

 

The APP is the official pro tour partner of USA Pickleball, the sport’s national governing body. Intersport will employ its full complement of expertise in property development, sponsorship sales and marketing, broadcast and livestream production, distribution and event management.

 

“Pickleball’s ascension domestically is practically indescribable,” said Intersport Executive Vice President Drew Russell. “It is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States at both the amateur and professional levels, and we just fell in love with what APP founder Ken Herrmann has created and his vision for the sport.

 

“Intersport is excited to be working with Ken and his staff, and to integrate our areas of expertise into the APP and pickleball. We truly believe that there is no ceiling for growth.”

 

Herrmann, a former USTA High Performance professional tennis coach and player, established the APP Tour in June 2019.  Along with a few trusted colleagues and the support of pickleball players from across the country, he built the tour from scratch. What started as a single tournament in 2020 has evolved into a robust schedule in 2022, with at least 30 domestic and international stops.

 

“I am incredibly proud of the foundation that we have built with the APP Tour,” said Herrmann. “There are so many people behind the scenes to thank for our early success.

 

“By joining forces with Intersport and leveraging its vast capabilities, we’re confident that we will achieve our vision of advancing the game of pickleball globally, supporting the careers of those who play it, and delivering an incomparable fan experience in person as well as on our various distribution channels.”

 

The new partnership will deliver an enhanced tour structure that elevates the prestige and stature of the APP. Namely, the tour will now feature The APP Elite Series, scheduled to include 13 stops in 2022, the APP Challenger Series, which is scheduled for 14 events, and the APP International Series that will include as many as five stops as part of the 2022 calendar.

 

More importantly, the partnership will focus on being accommodating and flexible to the needs of today’s pickleball athletes, both professional and amateur. Specifics of this effort include a larger prize pool that approaches $2 million, appearance fees and complimentary event entry will be provided to the top 10 professional men and women and the top five professional senior (50 and up) men and women – according to the World Pickleball Rankings – that compete in each APP Elite Series event, and additional investments ranging from athletic training and nutritional support to broadcast operations and distribution platforms.

 

Major League Pickleball (MLP) also has announced an increased prize pool for players, amplifying the shared commitment of the APP and MLP to support the careers of professional pickleball players as the sport continues its accelerated growth in the United States and globally.

 

The new APP appearance fee and lodging stipend financial structure for the top 10 ranked men and women competing in each APP Elite Series event can be found below:

 

Player Event Rank Appearance Fee Lodging Stipend
No. 1 $2,500 $200
No. 2 $2,500 $200
No. 3 $2,500 $200
No. 4 $1,500 $200
No. 5 $1,500 $200
No. 6 $1,500 $200
No. 7 $1,500 $200
No. 8 $1,000 $200
No. 9 $1,000 $200
No. 10 $1,000 $200

 

 

The new appearance fee and lodging stipend financial structure for the top five senior men and women competing in each APP Elite Series event can be found below:

 

Player Event Rank Appearance Fee
No. 1 $500
No. 2 $400
No. 3 $300
No. 4 $250
No. 5 $250

 

 

Finally, the partnership will prioritize the holistic competition experience for the athletes by, among other things, identifying new and historic tournament locations, upgrading existing tournament amenities and implementing quarterly counsel and feedback sessions for tour professionals through an APP Player Advocate Program.

 

The announcement comes in the midst of the season-ending APP Masters in Boca Raton, Fla. The event runs through Sunday. Thursday’s matches are being streamed online on the APPTV YouTube channel and Facebook page. Matches scheduled for the remainder of the tournament can be found on For the Fans (FTF), USA Pickleball YouTube page and ESPN+.

 

2022 APP Elite Series Schedule

Schedule Subject to Change

All events will be broadcast on the APPTV YouTube channel and Facebook page

Events in BOLD indicate National Championship Series

 

Date Tournament Location Purse
March 15-20 Delray Beach Open Delray Beach, Fla. (Delray Beach Tennis and Pickleball Center) $60,000
March 30-April 4 Legacy Open Mesa, Ariz.

(Bell Bank Park – Legacy Sports Park)

$60,000
May 4-8 St. Louis Open St. Louis, Mo. (site TBA) $100,000
May 25-29 New York City Open New York, N.Y. (site TBA) $125,000
July 20-24 Beer City Open Grand Rapids, Mich. (Belknap Park) $75,000
Aug. 10-14 New Jersey Open Hamilton, N.J. $50,000
Aug. 31-Sept. 4 Chicago Open Chicago, Ill. (site TBA) $50,000
Sept. 7-11 Atlanta Metro Open Atlanta, Ga. (site TBA) $60,000
Oct. 20-23 Austin Open Austin, Texas (site TBA) $50,000
Oct. 26-30 Hilton Head Open Hilton Head, S.C. (site TBA) $60,000
Nov. 30-Dec. 4 Casa Grande Open Casa Grande, Ariz. (site TBA) $50,000
January, 2023 Mesa Open Mesa, Ariz. (site TBA) $75,000
January, 2023 APP Masters Boca Raton, Fla. (site TBA) $75,000

 

 

2022 APP Challenger Series Schedule

Schedule Subject to Change

All events will be broadcast on the APPTV YouTube channel and Facebook page

 

Date Tournament Location Purse
Feb. 23-27 Punta Gorda Open Punta Gorda, Fla. (Pickleplex) $40,000
March 2-6 Plantation Open Plantation, Fla. (Plantation Central Park) $40,000
April 6-10 Prescott Open Prescott, Ariz. (Espire Sports) $40,000
April 14-17 South Carolina Open Camden, S.C. (Tennis Center and Pickleball Plaza of Camden) $40,000
May 12-15 Cincinnati Open Middleton, Ohio $35,000
June 3-5 Indianapolis Open Indianapolis, Ind. $35,000
June 15-19 So Cal Open Encinitas, Calif. $40,000
June 23-26 Los Angeles Open Los Angeles, Calif. $40,000
July 27-31 Pacific NW Open Bend, Ore. $25,000
Aug. 25-28 Philadelphia Open Philadelphia, Pa. $35,000
Oct. 6-9 Alabama Classic Opelika, Ala. $35,000
Oct. 13-16 Houston Open Houston, Texas $35,000
Nov. 17-20 World Pickleball Classic Holly Hill, Fla. $25,000
Dec. 8-11 World Pickleball Open Port St. Lucie, Fla. $25,000

 

 

2022 APP International Series Schedule

Schedule Subject to Change

All events will be broadcast on the APPTV YouTube channel and Facebook page

 

May 5-7 Guadalajara Open

(Amateurs Only)

Guadalajara, Mexico (site TBA) $35,000
June 30-July 3 English Open United Kingdom (site TBA) TBA
Aug. 25-28 French Open

(Amateurs Only)

France (site TBA) TBA
Sept. 1-4 Spanish Open Spain (site TBA) TBA
Dec. 9-11 Cancun Open Cancun, Mexico (site TBA) $35,000

 

 

Combined 2022 APP Series Schedule

Schedule Subject to Change

All events will be broadcast on the APPTV YouTube channel and Facebook page

Events in BOLD indicate National Championship Series

 

Date Series Tournament Location Purse
Feb. 23-27 Challenger Punta Gorda Open Punta Gorda, Fla. (Pickleplex) $40,000
March 2-6 Challenger Plantation Open Plantation, Fla. (Plantation Central Park) $40,000
March 15-20 Elite Delray Beach Open Delray Beach, Fla. (Delray Beach Tennis and Pickleball Center) $60,000
March 30-April 4 Elite Legacy Open Mesa, Ariz. (Bell Bank Park – Legacy Sports Park) $60,000
April 6-10 Challenger Prescott Open Prescott, Ariz. (Espire Sports) $40,000
April 14-17 Challenger South Carolina Open Camden, S.C. (Tennis Center and Pickleball Plaza of Camden) $40,000
May 4-8 Elite St. Louis Open St. Louis, Mo. (site TBA) $100,000
May 5-7 International
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