Times Group Enters New Age Sports – Pickleball

Hyderabad/New Delhi, March 5, 2024: Pickleball, which is billed as the fastest-growing modern sport, will soon have a new superstar league- the Pickleball World Series. The Times Group –the news and entertainment leader in India — is partnering with Pickleball Asia to start this exciting new series on a global stage. The Pickleball World Series will start in the United States and travel across different continents with six major events in a year.

Pickleball –which has become a worldwide sensation in a very short period of time— is a fusion of tennis, table tennis and badminton. Its accessible gameplay has attracted enthusiasts of all age groups across the globe as well as sports stars and celebrities including champions from these three racquet sports,

While there are several existing competitions and leagues in the US, the Pickleball World Series will be the first tournament with global ambitions and will also have a significantly enhanced entertainment quotient. In the first year, the Pickleball World Series will comprise of 64 players in the individual format and six teams comprising four players each, from the US and the rest of the world, including India – which is the rising hotspot for Pickleball.

Times Group Managing Director Vineet Jain states: “Pickleball is gaining ground as the game for urban sports enthusiasts. Times Group is known for its innovation and ability to be ahead of the curve in every one of its initiatives and we hope that this effort to take the fastest growing modern sport to the next level will inspire its exponential growth all over the world including in India. I personally believe that in five to seven years, Pickleball will overtake Tennis in terms of participation.”

Times Group CEO, New Media and Investments, N Subramanian adds: “Rapidly accelerating participation and increasing fandom is driving the popularity of many innovative sports globally. That is the opportunity we spotted in Pickleball, an exciting sport that is being enjoyed by millions the world over. Powered by passion and fueled by competition, this fun and immersive sport has won over the hearts of Gen Z and Millennials, making it a natural choice for our partnership and an important addition to our portfolio of strong brands. The Pickleball World Series, our marquee event, will provide a unique platform to bring out the best in players and teams, for fans to enjoy and support their favourites, and for brands to engage and interact with these audiences.”

Pranav Kohli of Pickleball Asia says: “The Pickleball player community is now 60 million strong worldwide and is growing steadily. We could not have found a better partner, anchor and investor than the Times Group –which brings us many positives that will swiftly move the needle of growth. That is a big gain for the sport and the Series.”

Outlining details, he said: “Pickleball World Series will embody the spirit of the Pickleball community and aim to provide action-packed competition along with scintillating entertainment built around the game. Starting in the US, the Pickleball World Series will travel across different continents with six major events. The Series will be supported by Pickleball World Rankings, a one-of-a-kind ranking system that allows players to accumulate points and qualify for the Pickleball World Series. We expect this will enable Pickleball stars to rise from different corners of the world and not just from the US.”

Pranav Kohli is a fourth-generation entrepreneur associated with the legacy brand “Stag” – which is popular as the makers of table tennis gear across the globe—as well as Pickleball Asia and Pickleball United. In his short time as CEO, Pickleball United has become one of the top infrastructure providers for Pickleball in the US and is associated with major events both in the US (eg Pickleball Slam, US Indoor National Championships, US Open, etc), as well as in other territories like the English Open, Bainbridge Cup, etc.