Luxury Brands Are Betting Big on Padel’s Popularity

May 20, 2024

As originally reported by Modern Retail, Padel is quickly becoming a prime target for luxury brand collaborations. This surge in popularity has sportswear giants and high-end fashion houses eager to join the fun. In 2023, Adidas launched a professional Padel gear line, followed by designer brands like Prada and Versace, which released branded Padel racquets priced at $2,250 and $1,500, respectively. Earlier this year, Valentino even took over a padel court in Dubai, underscoring the sport’s luxurious appeal.

The Versace padel set (Photo courtesy of Versace)

Padel’s popularity is skyrocketing in professional leagues and recreational settings, particularly among affluent crowds. Celebrities like Lionel Messi and Serena Williams have been spotted trying out padel, contributing to its allure. As it gains traction in the U.S., Padel clubs and teams are distinguishing themselves from pickleball by highlighting the sport’s European flair and connections with designer brands

Padel’s growth isn’t confined to the U.S. It has become the second most popular sport in countries like Argentina and Spain, trailing only soccer. The sport continues to expand across Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. The International Padel Federation reports over 25 million players in more than 110 countries, with Deloitte projecting the number of padel courts worldwide to reach 85,000 by 2026.

One of the latest companies to invest in Padel is Bezel, a marketplace for authenticated luxury watches. Bezel has become an official sponsor of the New York Atlantics, a professional padel team founded in 2023. The partnership includes uniform logo sponsorship and a curated watch display during championship tournaments throughout 2024.

NBA star Dwayne Wade plays padel (Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone)

Mike Shoiock, Bezel’s vice president of growth, explained the strategic move: “We started looking at how it’s coming to life in Europe, it really got exciting for us.” Inspired by courtside branding and player ambassadorships from luxury brands like Richard Mille and Prada, Bezel aims to reach high-income urban dwellers through this partnership.

Bezel’s involvement isn’t just limited to branding on jerseys and courts. The company also plans pop-up events during tournaments, providing a physical space for clients to meet VIP reps. This strategy, Shoiock noted, allows Bezel to expand its reach within the high-income market of New York City, potentially growing its presence in the sport.

Padel’s luxury appeal and accessibility have made it a lucrative brand market. Mike Dorfman, chairman of the executive committee at the Pro Padel League and owner of the New York Atlantics, highlighted the sport’s aspirational look and feel. Despite its luxurious image, Padel lacks the exclusionary stigma of traditional country clubs, making it more appealing to a broader audience.

With Padel rapidly gaining popularity, the Pro Padel League has attracted significant sponsorships from brands like Adidas, Spindrift, Estrella Damm beer, and Tequila Commissario. Dorfman emphasizes the sport’s growth potential: “We’re a blank slate and not beholden to existing structure. So our goal is to grow exposure of the game as widely and fast as possible.

Getting involved in Padel offers emerging brands a unique opportunity to grow alongside the sport. As Shoiock noted, “We can grow together in that space.

For the latest news and updates on brand collaborations in the Padel world and more, keep it here at The Padel Weekly!

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