Spikeball, Pickleball and Volleyball Battle it Out in ‘Pro vs. Pro’ Video Series

Spikeball, Pickleball and Volleyball Battle it Out in ‘Pro vs. Pro’ Video Series

By Laura Gainor – Featured in the May/June issue of Pickleball Magazine

What do you get when you have the best players in spikeball, pickleball and volleyball come together to show off their talents in their respective sports?

A “Pro vs. Pro” video series with top-ranked pickleball players Ben Johns and Kyle Yates playing pickleball and spikeball (a.k.a. roundnet) against Preston Bies, pro roundnet player, and Casey Patterson, pro beach volleyball player.

The video series on Preston Bies’ YouTube channel called “How to Roundnet” all started with Preston taking a break from spikeball to do a 50-day pickleball binge where he trained two hours a day.

Preston, 27, of Santa Barbara, California, got stoked about pickleball and wanted to play against the best. So he did a Google search for “best pickleball player in the world” and found none other than Ben Johns’ name pop up. He figured, why not message Ben on Instagram and ask if he wants to come out to California to do a pro vs. pro video series to play spikeball and pickleball, and to bring a friend with him.

So that’s exactly what happened. Ben called Kyle Yates and asked if he was up for the challenge, so both of them flew to California to learn how to play spikeball and show Preston and Casey how to excel in the game of pickleball.

“Ben and I are always up to try something new, so when we are invited to play with the world’s best at anything, of course we’re going to say yes!” says Kyle. “My favorite part about the Pro vs. Pro competition was seeing just how amazing these other pros are at their respective sports. I was in awe of some of the shots Preston was able to hit in roundnet—and it was pretty fun to show off a bit and feel comfortable on the pickleball court!”

Not only did these incredible athletes excel at each other’s respective sports, they had some fun along the way—including Ben using a slipper as a pickleball paddle to see if he could still win against the spikeball pros in a match. Spoiler alert: Ben won.

“For playing pickleball just three months, Preston is pretty good,” says Ben. When asked if he was going to try to play roundnet again in his free time, he replied, “Free time is a word I don’t use a lot these days! But if I get the chance, I’ll absolutely play again.”

According to Chris Ruder, Founder and CEO of Spikeball, Inc.—with approximately 4 million spikeball units sold—there are about 10-20 million people who have played roundnet.

Another spikeball pro competitor, Chris Hornacek, who recently hit the courts with Tyson Aposotol for an intense singles match, is also a pickleball pro-in-the-making, which proves there are many parallels between the two sports.

“I announced on Instagram that I was playing pickleball and suddenly a ton of spikeball players were sending me direct messages saying, ‘Yeah, I play!’ and telling me where I should travel to play pickleball,” says Chris. “Everyone points you in the right direction on how to improve your game.”

With millions of passionate players for a backyard game that complements pickleball nicely, we look forward to this network of athletes continuing to join us on the courts and work their way to the top of the pro circuit. See you in November at the 2021 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships!

Check out the Pro vs. Pro video by Preston Bies of “How to Roundnet” below and visit our @USAPickleball Instagram channel for more exclusive videos and photos from competition!

The Economist: Pickleball is the Fastest-Growing Sport in America

The Economist: Pickleball is the Fastest-Growing Sport in America

We recently spoke with The Economist with USA Pickleball CEO, Stu Upson, to talk about the growth of pickleball as one of the fastest growing sports in America. More and more players are hearing chatter about the sport and want in on the action! With almost 3.5 million players across the nation, we’ll see continuous growth over the next year.

Some key quotes from the article below and visit The Economist’s website to read the full article.

“In the five years to the end of 2019, pickleball participation grew by more than 7%, while Americans’ overall activity level stayed flat, according to the Sport & Fitness Industry Association. Although data from 2020 have not yet been released, the sport has picked up more swing thanks to covid-19. Last March, when quarantines went into effect and gyms closed, portable pickleball nets temporarily sold out. Players set up courts, which are half the size of tennis courts, in driveways. “It’s the new thing,” says Derek Heil, an employee at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Dallas, who has seen a sales spike for pickleball equipment over the last year, including for higher-end paddles which sell for around $100.”

As more people take up the sport, demand for televised matches and sponsorships will increase. – Stu Upson, USA Pickleball CEO 

Pickleball Magazine Cover Feature with the NBA’s Scott Foster

Pickleball Magazine Cover Feature with the NBA’s Scott Foster

This past summer Vossberg Gainor got the opportunity to get an inside look at the start of a pickleball craze in Orlando’s NBA Bubble while Scott Foster, crew chief referee, championed the sport by creating a court at their resort. 

While all NBA referees, staff, media personalities and players were quarantined in the Bubble, Scott wanted to create an opportunity to fill some down time in between the games. As the weeks went on, he got more than half of the referees playing every morning and would share rally videos and pictures with us as everyone had a blast on their makeshift court.

It was incredible seeing their dedication and passion for the sport like so many of us experience as we pick up a paddle and play with friends. Thank you for giving us an inside look Scott, Tyler and Josh. We’re excited to watch where your pickleball careers take you outside of The Bubble. 

Check out the full feature in the October/November 2020 issue of Pickleball Magazine on page 38. 

NBA refs Scott Foster, Tyler Ford and Josh Tiven. 

USA Pickleball Design Spotlight: Boelter + Lincoln & Kelly Tidball

USA Pickleball Design Spotlight: Boelter + Lincoln & Kelly Tidball

Agency Spotlight: Boelter + Lincoln

Over the past six months, it was an honor to get to work with the team at Boelter + Lincoln as they worked on a brand re-launch for USA Pickleball. From focus groups, to creative ideation and final execution, we enjoyed getting the opportunity to work with their passionate and creative team.
One of the fastest-growing sports in the country partnered with B+L on a website + logo redesign, public relations campaign, and countless creative assets to grow membership and get more people playing the highly-addictive mashup of ping pong, badminton, and tennis.
Take a look at a few of the highlights from the full-scale campaign ↓ and visit the Boelter + Lincoln WEBSITE for more information about their agency!

Graphic Designer Spotlight: Kelly Tidball

Following the launch of the USA Pickleball brand re-launch in July, we also got the opportunity to work with Kelly Tidball, a talented freelance graphic designer as she worked on creating shareable graphics for the brand’s social media channels.

We first met Kelly as she was finishing her degree at Marquette University in Milwaukee and most recently she was a Senior Marketing Graphic Designer for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

During these times of companies needing to remove positions, we see it as a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on these talented individuals, such as Kelly!

Meet Kelly Tidball!

Below is Kelly’s bio and some examples of the work she did for USA Pickleball.

Thank you for your creative talents, Kelly, and we know your next company will be so lucky to have you on their team! 

Current job title: Freelance Graphic Designer
Last Job: Senior Marketing Graphic Designer, Arizona Diamondbacks
Hometown: Brookfield, WI
Current City: Phoenix, AZ
Alma Mater: Marquette University
Portfolio: KTidball.myportfolio.com

What I did at the D-backs:

  • I worked for the Arizona Diamondbacks for 5 years. My role at the D-backs was designing and creating all marketing materials and contributing to the marketing initiatives. I designed web ads, email graphics, social media graphics, logos, event signage, billboards, print advertisements and promotional items. I assisted our advertising coordinator by updating dbacks.com, losdbacks.com and the MLB ballpark app. I was responsible for event signage and advertisements as well as day of coordination for large events.
  • 2019 I was promoted to Senior Marketing Graphic Designer and took over the responsibility of planning and implementing the marketing campaigns. marketing team that would include a layout of the organization’s goals and strategies. This allowed me to work on a project from idea to implementation.
  • I have a passion for graphic design and marketing and love the ability to come up with a concept and make it come alive.

Skills and areas of expertise:

  • Expert in Indesign, Illustrator and Photoshop.
  • Some experience with motion graphics.
  • Expert in Advertising and Marketing Campaigns

Vossberg Gainor Welcomes Jordan Huber to the Team!

Vossberg Gainor Welcomes Jordan Huber to the Team!

Laura Vossberg Gainor, founder of Vossberg Gainor, is thrilled to announce the addition of Jordan Huber to the team as the PR + Social Media Coordinator through an exclusive mentorship program focused on helping young professionals. As a company that strongly believes in helping individuals grow in their careers and find their next professional opportunity when challenges arise, it is with great honor to have Jordan to not only assist with client projects, but to also take it as an opportunity to provide mentorship to an up-and-coming advertising professional to find their next step in their career.

Jordan brings extensive experience as a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a focus in journalism and held positions at well-known Milwaukee ad agencies; Hanson Dodge and Boelter + Lincoln as a brand engagement intern and Social Media Assistant.

As the freelance PR + Social Media Coordinator for Vossberg Gainor, Jordan will have the opportunity to work directly with Laura Vossberg Gainor on client projects with the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA).

Welcome to the team Jordan and we are thrilled to see where you land next and to have the opportunity to provide the mentorship to showcase your incredible talents to other organizations.

Connect with Jordan on LinkedIn

 

Inside Florida Pickleball featuring USA Pickleball Association

Inside Florida Pickleball featuring USA Pickleball Association

Vossberg Gainor, marketing consultant for USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), recently spoke with Carl Foster, host of the weekly show “Inside Florida Pickleball”, live from Pictona at Holly Hill about our “20 for 20 Member Incentive Program”.
This exclusive incentive program features our $20 annual membership with access to several new Pickleball-related offers; any one of which is designed to offset the annual price of the USAPA 1-year members. This program is designed to run for a limited time (expires July 31st). During the program, additional 1-2 day “flash sales” will be available for members to take advantage of from a number of our valued USAPA partners.
For more details about the program, our USAPA member benefits, and to signup, visit USAPA.org.
“Inside Florida Pickleball” airs every Saturday with player and sponsor interviews, event highlights, medal ceremonies and shines a spotlight on why pickleball has become one of the fastest growing sports in America! Subscribe to their YouTube channel.