USA Pickleball Association Celebrates Sport’s 55th Anniversary

USA Pickleball Association Celebrates Sport’s 55th Anniversary

Social distancing, multi-generational appeal makes it “One of America’s Fastest-Growing Sports”

(July 20, 2020) – One of the hottest sports in America turns 55 years old this week – and has never looked better.

Created in suburban Seattle in July 1965, pickleball grew steadily across the U.S. in the ensuing decades. However, in the last 10 years its popularity has increased exponentially. Since 2013, the sport’s governing body, the USA Pickleball Association, has seen membership increase more than 1,000% and there are now an estimated 3.3 million players across all 50 states. A 2019 survey by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association called pickleball “one of the country’s fastest growing amateur sports.” Pickleball is now played in 25 countries and being discussed as a possible future Olympic sport.

COVID-19 has further boosted the sport’s appeal. A mix of tennis, ping pong and badminton, pickleball was called the “perfect pandemic pastime” by the New York Times, since its 20-foot by 44-foot court can easily be set up on driveways and at home, and its rules include a no-volley zone of 7 feet on either side of the net – keeping opposing players safely apart.

In response to the public’s surging interest, USA Pickleball has launched a new, enhanced website –

usapickleball.org. In celebration of the 55th anniversary and to continue growing junior programs, for the next month 10% of proceeds from select USA Pickleball merchandise sales will go toward the non-profit organization’s high school grant programs.

“Interest in pickleball has been unprecedented in recent years and people are searching for information on how to play, where to play, and just about everything else related to the sport,” said USA Pickleball Executive Director Justin Maloof. “We are setting the stage for the future with a strategic plan and alignment to U.S. and International sports governing bodies, on pickleball’s journey to Olympic recognition.”

Pickleball is relatively easy to learn and attracts players of all ages due to its fun, social and friendly nature (2020 Fact Sheet). While it is commonly part of school physical education programs, it is also a staple in retirement communities, municipal park & recreation centers, paddle & racquet sports facilities and country clubs. Although the majority of players consider themselves “casual” participants, local, regional and national tournaments are held across the United States. Many of them are sanctioned by USA Pickleball, including the annual USA Pickleball National Championships at the iconic Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California.

About the USA Pickleball Association

The USA Pickleball Association, a non-profit 501(c)(3) was established in 2005 to further the advancement of the sport on a national level. As the official governing body of pickleball in the United States, the USAPA promotes the growth of pickleball by maintaining the rules, setting player ratings, advancing the sport through its national network of 1,900+ ambassadors, and sanctioning tournaments. Since 2013, the USAPA has grown 1,000% in its membership which now exceeds 40,000. The USAPA is divided into 11 regions across the country with all 50 states being represented. The extensive group of volunteer ambassadors oversees the sport in their respective states. More information can be found at usapickleball.org.

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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

 

New York Times Feature: Is Pickleball the Perfect Pandemic Pastime?

New York Times Feature: Is Pickleball the Perfect Pandemic Pastime?

As a marketing consultant for the USA Pickleball Association, Vossberg Gainor had the opportunity to talk with The New York Times about playing pickleball during the pandemic. 

I so greatly miss playing pickleball with our local community and the Chicago Pickleball Club on Friday nights and look forward to the day when we can all safely play together again. 

Ellen Degeneres has recently picked up the sport, playing with Portia at their home, and the sport will continue to grow as new players jump on board!

You can read the full New York Times article HERE. Thank you, Rachel Simon. 

Calling all Moms of the U.S. What’s to come from Official MomFest…

Calling all Moms of the U.S. What’s to come from Official MomFest…

Curious about Official MomFest? 

What started as me asking two new friends that I barely knew (Shoutout to Danielle & Jen!) at the end of 2017 “Hey, do you want to take Amtrak to Milwaukee to go to this Brewfest thing on a Sunday in February?” has now evolved into a growing group of fun, supportive and “always up for anything” community of Moms. 

Now, beyond just a one-day, annual event, that group of moms will span even further as we build an online community across the United States and utilize the MomFest name for good. 

What will come soon on OfficialMomFest.com:

  • Every mom has a story. We’ll share them and feature the power of the mom in that story. 
  • Upcoming events in various cities – socials, fundraisers for charities, remote working meetups, group workouts, local restaurant dinners, you name it! What I love most is getting people together. 
  • Articles that inspire us 
  • Official MomFest podcast 
  • Local business features
  • Maybe we’ll even throw some Dad involvement in there (but they’ll be watching the kids during our outings)
  • More to come…

While you get excited for all of that to come, follow us on social media, subscribe to our new YouTube channel (with more content to come) and tell your friends to signup for our emails on OfficialMomFest.com so they too can be in the know! All links available on the website.

Reach out to me anytime about getting involved with Official MomFest – laura@VossbergGainor.com.

Nice to meet you! 

  • The Gainor Family: Brian, Laura, Clara, Garrett & CharlotteProud Park Ridge, IL residents
  • Brian works for 4Front, a sports marketing agency in Chicago and takes us to many sporting events
  • Laura started her own marketing agency, Vossberg Gainor, and currently lives and breathes Pickleball brand strategy and online marketing for USA Pickleball Association
  • Clara and Garrett take great pride in being Franklin Falcons and understand the term “MomFest” in our house once they see the shirts, bus and large crowd of moms 

I feel so fortunate to have met many incredible people across the numerous cities our family has lived over the last 12 years since meeting Brian. Can’t wait to continue to bring everyone together through OfficialMomFest.com

 

Photo: Cecily George Photography 

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Vossberg Gainor

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from Vossberg Gainor

Merry Christmas and Cheers to a Happy & Healthy 2020! We are very thankful for an exciting 2019 with the launch of Vossberg Gainor. I have been very fortunate to have many incredible friends, family and new clients since launching the company in October of this year. 

Look forward to what’s to come in 2020! Wishing everyone the best in the New Year. 

Love, Laura, Brian, Clara & Garrett Gainor

Park Ridge Neighbors Magazine Feature

Park Ridge Neighbors Magazine Feature

It was an honor to be featured in the December issue of “Park Ridge Neighbors”, a local publication where we live in Park Ridge. Thank you to Anne Scallon of Best Version Media for asking to be a part of the magazine. And to the talented Heidi Clifton of Cecily George Photography for taking the photos.

Even though the cover makes it look like we’re the perfect family, this article was exciting to write with them knowing how much we’ve moved around to get where we are in Park Ridge, worried about where we should move to, different jobs we’ve had, so many great friends in multiple states, the kids loving elementary school, Brian celebrating 4 years at 4Front and now the proud honor to have Vossberg Gainor. The last two months starting up the business I’ve been very fortunate with clients right from the start, a supportive fam and friends, and many brainstorm sessions of how to keep evolving the company and launch new ideas. We are feeling very happy having Park Ridge as our home mostly because of the community that comes with it. And enjoying the challenges along the way. Most of them 😂 Happy Holidays! Enjoy the full article below.

The Gainor Family: Quickly Making Park Ridge A Home 

By Laura Gainor • Edited by Marilyn Metz

Park Ridge is one of those communities that quickly becomes a home. The Gainor family has lived here for four years, but because of the close-knit community it feels as though it has been a lifetime. 

Laura and Brian Gainor met in Charlotte, North Carolina (the city their dog is named after) a couple of years after college. Brian attended undergrad at the University of Florida and studied sports administration during grad school at Ohio University. Laura studied fine arts photography and journalism-advertising at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. From there, she decided to pick up and move to Charlotte on a whim. Laura met Brian a couple of years later, got engaged after 11 months and married in 2009.

Shortly after getting married, the couple moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where their children Clara (8) and Garrett (6) were born. 

Both Brian and Laura’s careers have involved working in advertising and marketing. At one point, both of them led marketing teams at the same agency in Milwaukee! For years they were traveling and engaging with fans from the brands they worked for at events like NASCAR races, cocktail challenges, NBA basketball games, and more.

It was Brian’s job that led them to the Chicagoland area as the VP of Innovation at 4Front, a sports marketing agency. At the time, Laura was running Milwaukee’s advertising club and shortly after moving to Park Ridge took on the Executive Director role for a nonprofit advertising agency. Laura spent her time traveling to Milwaukee from Park Ridge for more than three years while also becoming very involved with the PTA at Franklin Elementary, where she now serves as the PTA Co-President. 

As the Gainors have fallen in love with Park Ridge, Laura recently launched Vossberg Gainor, a company specializing in helping brands and businesses with marketing and social media strategies, special events, photography, and more. Through Vossberg Gainor, Laura is excited to have an opportunity to get to know and help more Park Ridge businesses and community leaders. 

The whole Gainor family loves to stay active with Park Ridge activities! Clara is in 2nd grade and enjoys dance at Lynette’s School of Dance, frequently takes art classes through the Brickton Art Center, played softball in the spring with Laura coaching the team, is a rookie at School of Rock and just finished her first season of Spirit Cheer. Garrett is in 1st grade and rarely sits still while participating in soccer, flag football, basketball and baseball. You can usually find him playing floor hockey in the basement with Dad many nights. Clara and Garrett are very fortunate to have made incredible friends at Franklin Elementary to enjoy all of these activities.  

When the weather is nice, the Gainor family makes themselves some to-go lunches and head straight for Busse Lake with their kayaks in hand. They spend their summer days floating around while taking in the great nature scenery.

Friendships and community mean so much to the family and their Park Ridge neighborhood even created a name for themselves –  Bentonside (Burton + Fenton + Parkside streets). Bentonsiders organize weekend activities, play bunco, ride bikes outside, and host holiday get-togethers. Coming soon is an Official Mom Fest group that Laura is starting, after organizing the first annual event last year for more than 20 moms! “Organizing events and bringing a community of people together is my biggest passion! Having the opportunity to do this through my company, with friends and volunteering with the Franklin PTA and other organizations is very rewarding,” said Laura.

The Gainor family is very passionate about giving back. Since all of their family relatives are all in different cities and not able to be together for Christmas day, they have turned it into a Christmas tradition for the four of them to visit Summit of Uptown Senior Living Center to deliver holiday treats while the residents are eating their meal. It’s heartwarming to see the kids enjoy giving to others and especially sweet to see the joy on the people’s faces. 

The family looks forward to spending another holiday in Park Ridge! You can usually find the whole family at their favorite restaurant, Holt’s, or Laura working remotely at Beer on the Wall, and now Off the Wall, if you’re interested in meeting up to chat. “Thank you from all of the Gainors for the welcoming community we have in Park Ridge and how supportive each family is for one another. Many more great times ahead. Happy New Year!”  -The Gainor Family.