Pickleball Marketing News: Jamie Foxx Wins for Best Pickleball Court Holiday Lights Display, Galentine’s Day Pickleball Hosted by Celebrity Gals

Pickleball Marketing News: Jamie Foxx Wins for Best Pickleball Court Holiday Lights Display, Galentine’s Day Pickleball Hosted by Celebrity Gals

Happy Friday! Welcome to this week’s edition of “Pickleball Marketing News,” brought to you by Vossberg Gainor and Pickleball in the Sun. Subscribe on LinkedIn and dive into this week’s issue: 


Right when you thought your holiday decorations were right up there with Clark Griswold’s, then Jamie Foxx, pickleball fanatic and founder of The Best Paddle, posts an Instagram video that shows something that no one on this earth has ever seen before. A 40-acre mountain view estate completely decorated with breathtaking, Christmas lights, and the grand finale of the lights display ending on the best part, his 3 pickleball courts that he calls “The Best Paddle Compound” lit up brighter than Margo’s shiny silver suit.

There wasn’t an official contest, per say, but we award Jamie with the Best Pickleball Court Holiday Lights Display. If you have one that can beat it, please send us the drone footage.

Watch Jamie’s drone footage on his Instagram Channel that shows off his incredible estate that is home to the The Best Paddle Compound, making us all jealous we don’t live at the foxxhole.


  • The Galentine’s Day Pickleball Tournament hosted by celebrity gals
  • Pints and Paddle bringing the taproom to the courts in Minnesota
  • Pickleball players banned from NYC park
  • Premier Pickleball Destination: Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection
  • Pickleball in the Sun Holiday Gift Guide to get your gifts in time for the holidays
  • National Pickleball League announces a team format tour for Pro Players 50+
  • Minto US Open Pickleball Championships Sweepstakes to win the perfect pickleball getaway
  • Nettie Pickleball Co. paddles now available at Dick’s Sporting Goods 


If you watched Stephen Colbert’s Pickled, you saw one of my favorite actresses, June Diane Raphael, making us all laugh as she competed for the Colbert Cup with her husband, Paul Scheer as her partner.

Well, get ready gals! June is now hosting the inaugural Galentine’s Day Pickleball Tournament in Los Angeles on February 12th with her fellow The Deep Dive podcast co-star, Jessica St. Clair, and friends Casey Wilson and Danielle Schneider, hosts of Bitch Sesh.

Right when I saw June and her gal pals promote this pickleball tournament, I reached out to June’s PR team to get more info on the sponsorship opportunities to get the details to share with you all. Not only do all of these gals have a combined 800K+ Instagram following, and more than 2 million lifetime downloads of their podcast, but the “Dream Team” celebrity list that will be playing at this event is amazing!

As I’ve told Brian Gainor many times before, my dream is to live like Grace and Frankie in a beach house with my closest friends and now add that Pickleball in the Sun lifelstyle to it, this Galentine’s Day Pickleball Tournament is going to be the beginning of some beautiful things ahead, so I suggest you get in on sponsoring it.

My flight to Los Angeles will be booked soon, so reach out to me to discuss sponsorship opportunities and my suggestions to help make this an incredible event for these celebrity gals! – [email protected]

Ticket info for The Galentine’s Day Pickleball Tournament.

Coming Soon: Pints and Paddle in Maple Grove, Minnesota

Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine: Pickleball’s grip on the racket sports world rivals Taylor Swift’s Midnights domination. Though it’s not the first in the Twin Cities—or even the largest—Pints and Paddle is taking courtside carb-o-loading to the suburbs.

As a midwestern girl, I am excited to see this opening in Minnesota and to get back up to the Twin Cities to play pickleball indoors with my friends!

Read more…

Pickleball players banned from NYC park after turf war with kids

New York Post: The city has served up some bad news for pickleball lovers.

The fad racquet sport has been banned at a West Village playground, where parents complained for months that adult pickleball fans were hogging up all the blacktop space and making it impossible for kids to have fun.

Read more…

Mauna Lani on The Island of Hawai’i

Pickleball is making its way throughout all 50 states in the USA, and Hawaii is not one to be forgotten! An oceanfront hotel steeped in Hawaiian culture, Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection is a premiere pickleball destination that is truly an unforgettable experience you and your family will surely want to enjoy.

Visit PickleballintheSun.com for more details on this premier pickleballdestination.

Final Week to Browse Our Holiday Gift Guide to Have Gifts Shipped in Time!


The Pickleball in the Sun beach towel is the perfect gift for the pickleball enthusiasts in your life that have sun and pickleball travel on their 2023 vision boards. Featuring the exclusive Pickleball in the Sun coastal illustration designed by Florida-based artist, Melissa Rinaldi of Go Coastal.

Now available in the Pickleball in the Sun shop for $45.

Visit PickleballintheSun.com to view our full Holiday Gift Guide with recommendations on paddles, apparel, accessories, destinations & more!

Skal Pickleball Paddles

Another new paddle is on the market! Thanks to Skal Pickleball, I got the chance to try out their paddle, designed and tested in Park City, Utah. With the honeycomb core and rough textured surface, it made for a great morning of playing and some wins. Plus, the fun design makes this a high quality and affordable paddle.

Visit SkalPickleball.com to purchase this paddle for $111.98.

From Court to Poolside. Skal Pickleball video. 

National Pickleball League Announces Team League for Players 50+

There is another team league that is making room for the top ranked professional players age 50+! The National Pickleball League (NPL) has announced the formation of a nationwide team competition for Champions Division (50+) professional pickleball players. Launching in mid-2023, team owners will select the city they represent, as well as building their team through a live player draft that will include the division’s biggest stars.

The league features #1 ranked players, Beth Bellamy and Rick Witsken. I personally have watched all of these top ranked champions players, and there is no lack of entertainment when watching these fierce players compete.

I had the chance to interview Beth and Rick following their win at the Newport Beach Tennis & Pickleball Club this past year, and I’m excited to watch what these two players do to continue to grow the sport:

Bloomberg Reports on The National Pickleball League.

Minto US Open Pickleball Championships Sweepstakes is Returning this January!

COMING SOON! The Minto US OPEN Sweepstakes is returning this January! Stay tuned for more details on how you can enter to win one of three amazing Grand Prize Packages plus some great weekly instant win prizes.


Nettie Pickleball Co. Paddles are Now Available at Dick’s Sporting Goods

One year ago at this time Nettie Pickleball Co.’s founder, Catherine Baxter stated she was sleepless boxing up her paddle sets and how this week her paddles and paddle sets are officially available in select stores and online at DICK’s Sporting Goods! 

Congratulations Catherine on this huge milestone and these paddle sets make excellent holiday gifts. Visit PlayNettie.com to purchase, or of course, shop at Dick’s!

For more details on being included in a future newsletter, please email [email protected]

Pickleball In The Sun’s Ultimate Pickleball Holiday Gift Guide

Pickleball In The Sun’s Ultimate Pickleball Holiday Gift Guide

This holiday season, Pickleball in the Sun is helping you pick the best pickleball gifts for the entire family!

Peruse through the following guide full of paddle options to bring on your next destination with family and friends, apparel to wear on and off the courts, accessories, and of course, some of our top pickleball destination recommendations to book your next vacation.

Plus, we are extremely excited to officially launch an exclusive collaboration with Go Coastal, a Florida-based artist and friend who has designed a coastal “Pickleball in the Sun” piece that creates a unique gift for your family and friends. Check out some of the items available below and visit our Pickleball in the Sun shop.

Pickleball Paddles for the Whole Family

Franklin Sports

Franklin Sports is known for being a family brand and recently sponsored some of the best pros in the world, Julie, JW and Jorja Johnson. Their Signature Pickleball Paddle is $100 and comes in multiple colors to get one for every member in your family.

Visit FranklinSports.com to purchase your paddles!

ROKNE Pickleball

ROKNE Paddles range from $89.99 to $179.99. High quality paddles and a good family-owned business behind them. For the competitive player, we are personally fans of the Curve Carbon X as we’ve won a few medals with this paddle. If you’re looking for a vacation-vibe design, check out “The Palm” paddle for $129.99. Visit RoknePickleball.com to purchase your paddles.


Started by the Barnes family, Selkirk is a leader in pickleball paddle innovation and technology. Paddles range from $49.99 to $333 and they make it easy to shop for the right paddle for you by categorizing with the player in mind, such as best paddle for beginners, and best paddles for spin.

Visit Selkirk.com to check out their complete paddle selection for all levels of playing.

JOOLA Pickleball

After being a leading brand in table tennis for nearly 70 years, JOOLA jumped into the pickleball game this past April and announced the launch of more than 6 paddles right from the start.

Now sponsoring the top player in the world, Ben Johns, you’ll find many pro players competing for the top spot on the podium with these paddles. So if your game is getting serious, check out the JOOLA paddles ranging from $149.95 to $219.95 on PickleballCentral.com.

Tangerine Paddles

Tangerine is a fresh pickleball brand and having just announced their line of pickleball paddles to go along with their classic style bags, you now have the opportunity to custom order paddles with your club or brand logo on them!

Contact them for more details, but in the meantime, browse their three paddle designs that will make everyone look stylish on the courts, for an affordable price of $85 per paddle.

Visit TangerinePaddle.com to shop their pickleball bags and paddles.

Nettie Pickleball Co.

Get ready because the perfect pickleball gift in a box is all ready for you! Not only are the Nettie Pickleball Co. paddles of great quality and beautifully designed, the female entrepreneur who created them is pretty great herself – Catherine Baxter.

Individual paddles are $79.99 for the classic paddles, or $129.99 for the newly launched pro paddles. Purchase one of the sets with either 2 or 4 paddles and each set includes sweatbands, balls and instructions on how to play pickleball, shipped to your door in a trendy box.

Visit PlayNettie.com and use code PICKLEBALLINTHESUN for 15% off!


Paddletek is one of the most seasoned paddle brands in the business, founded in 2010. As a well-respected brand in the game, whether you’re a recreational or competitive player, they have a variety of paddle options to work your way up from beginner to pro. They sponsor some of the best professional athletes in the game, including 15-year-old Anna Leigh Waters and her mom, Leigh Waters. Be sure to also check out Catherine Parenteau’s signature paddle.

Browse the Paddletek paddles available on PickleballCentral.com, ranging from $69.99 to $179.99.

Big Dill Pickleball Co.

If you want a conversation piece that will get every pickleball paddle recipient excited, take a peek at Big Dill Pickleball’s paddle sets. With fun designs and an easy-to-carry bag, these paddles will be a family favorite. Also created by a fun-loving, female entrepreneur, Katy Luxem. She’ll be grateful to see your Instagram photos playing pickleball with your family over the holidays.

Visit Amazon.com to purchase this paddle set for $112

Costa Pickleball

The Costa Pickleball paddles have been some of our favorite paddles since we were first introduced last year! All paddles are $99. Made with a Honeycomb Carbon Core and offering a variety of designs, these paddles will not only help your competitive game but also look stylish in your court selfies and podium photos.

Be sure to check out the “Little Monster” collection that your kids and uncles will enjoy. Visit CostaPickleball.com to check out their paddles.

F2 Sports

Congratulations to our friends at F2 Sports for partnering with Good Morning America and 40boxes.com with their unique paddles featured as one of Tory Johnson’s “Deals and Steals!”

Now until December 16th (or til supplies run out) get your hands on an F2 Sports paddle for $63 on 40boxes.com.

Pickleball Apparel

Pickleball in the Sun Apparel

We have been proudly sporting our Pickleball in the Sun logo and now apparel items are available to you in our shop…with more on the way! This winter as you’re either playing pickleball in cooler temperatures, or cozying up on the couch with your pickleball partner, we’ll be honored if you’re wearing the Pickleball in the Sun logo.

Visit the Pickleball in the Sun shop to pre-order your holidays gifts.

Civile Apparel

You can many times find Civile Apparel founder, Aubri Steele, out on the courts engaging with the pickleball community. Inspired to create the brand to reflect her own lifestyle, Civile is a popular brand amongst professional and amateur players offering uniquely designed items for men, women and kids.

Visit CivileApparel.com to check out the shop featuring “Dink or Die,” “Don’t Be a Dink,” the popular “Pickled” line, and more.

AvaLee by Selkirk

Recently launched, the AvaLee line from Selkirk is some of the softest and perfectly designed apparel for women in pickleball. Created by the wives of Selkirk’s founders, AvaLee is named after their two daughters Ava and Lee and we couldn’t be more in love with the brand and story behind it.

Visit Selkirk.com to view the apparel items and paddles available. Use code ADV-PBINTHESUN at checkout to earn gift cards with each purchase. Shop for your friends and family, and after checking out the Selkirk team will send you a gift card as a thank you.

  • Orders from $50-$100 will receive a $10 digital gift card

  • Orders from $101-$200 will receive a $20 digital gift card

  • Orders from $201-$300 will receive a $30 digital gift card

  • Orders over $300 will receive a $40 digital gift card

  • Orders over $500 will receive a $50 gift card

Men’s Pickleball Apparel on PickleballCentral.com

Every guy wants apparel they can not only wear on the pickleball court, but also a serve up a good conversation while out with friends. Head on over to PickleballCentral.com to browse clothing from top brands like JOOLA, Selkirk, Franklin, Original Penguin, and more.

Pickleball Accessories & Gifts

Pickleball in the Sun Beach Towel

Featured in Forbes Holiday Gift Guide as a gift that is “perfect for a vacation” and “a pickleballer’s paradise!” The Pickleball in the Sun Beach towel is plush and oversized for your next getaway. 

Designed exclusively for Pickleball in the Sun by Florida-based artist, Melissa Rinaldi, of Go Coastal. The perfect gift! 

Visit the Pickleball in the Sun shop to purchase yours for $45. 

Pickleball in the Sun Blanket

This Pickleball in the Sun blanket will be on our golf cart, for sure, as we ride up to the pickleball courts with the Florida winter breeze! Super soft 50×60 inch blanket showcasing the exclusive Pickleball in the Sun illustration, designed by a Florid-based artist and good friend of ours.

Available for pre-orders in the Pickleball in the Sun shop for $68.

Swinton Pickleballs in a Winer Bag

Headed on a pickleball getaway for the holidays and not sure where to hold your pickleballs or your wine? Look no further than the unique “Pickleballs in a Wine Bag” carrier Swinton Pickleball has created where you can buy two and carry three pickleballs in one, and your booze in the other.

Plus, they also sell uniquely designed pickleball paddles with their top-notch Swinton branding. Visit SwintonPickleball.com to purchase.

RIA Eyewear

Whether you’re playing pickleball in the sun, or in the shade, it’s important to always wear protective eyewear to avoid eye injuries. Look fierce while protecting your precious eyes by purchasing a pair of RIA Eyewear. Visit RIAEyewear.com to purchase.

Portable Pickleball Net

One of the reasons why the sport has grown so fast is because you can put a pickleball court just about anywhere! Pickleball brings families together just how the game first began in 1965 on Bainbridge Island.

This holiday season, purchase a portable pickleball net and get your entire family out in the driveway, in an open parking lot, at your local community park, wherever you find a 20×44 foot space, play some pickleball. Visit PickleballCentral.com to purchase.


The perfect stocking stuffer for your beginner or avid pickleball players that get excited to see a brand new pickleball in their stocking! Keep in mind, there are particular balls for indoor or outdoor play, so be sure to choose the right pickleballs for your family and friends. Visit FranklinSports.com to purchase.

Georgie & Lou Pickleball Bags

Mixing function and fashion, the Georgie & Lou pickleball bags will look great on and off the court. We can already picture us stepping onto an airplane with our computer and sunglasses in the bag ready for business, and paddle handle and added touch as a conversation piece for new friends to invite us onto the court.

Visit GeorgieandLou.com to view their unique designs and enter code “PBintheSUN” for 10% off.

Pickleball Books

Everyone wants a library full of pickleball books! Lucky for you, there are multiple recommended books to give to your family members of all ages.

Top Pickleball Books:

Pickleball Blanket

A 6-foot pickleball blanket may just be what your friend or dog wants this holiday season. Soft, comfy and shaped like a pickleball, this blanket is $25.99 and you can use the code “INTHESUN” at checkout to receive 10% off.

Visit Amazon.com to purchase the pickleball blanket!

Gift a Pickleball Destination

Pickleball has made the headlines over the last couple of years because people have discovered this incredible lifestyle of getting to play a fun game that provides exercise, a social opportunity to play with friends and meet new ones, bringing families together of all ages with a common interest, and as more resorts and hotels add pickleball courts as an amenity to attract guests, we’re easily packing out paddles in our suitcases and exploring new destinations from coast to coast.

Experiences are one of the best gifts you can give to your loved ones. Add in pickleball, and that’s even better. We’ve provided our top 4 pickleball destination recommendations to jumpstart your getaway plans. Don’t forget to bring along your Pickleball in the Sun beach towel!

Find a Court on Vacation!

Already have a vacation planned and not sure if there are courts nearby? Download the PicklePlay app to easily search for pickleball courts where you’re visiting, connect with people to play together and find details on open play times.

JW Marriott Desert Ridge – Phoenix, AZ

You may be familiar with this premier pickleball destination from our Pickleball in the Sun feature, but this is one of the top pickleball destinations to stay at this gorgeous resort in Phoenix and enjoy the amenities they offer for the whole family. With 17 total pickleball courts with over 400-player capacity, the JW Marriott Desert Ridge has pickleball amenities like no other. Situated on the beautiful Arizona Sahara, this resort boasts private lessons and clinics on-site, daily instruction, and ball machine rentals available for mom to practice and spice up her game! This iconic resort is sure to check all of the holiday wishlist boxes and make memories that will last a lifetime!

To learn more about the JW Marriott Desert Ridge, visit Marriott.com.

Pickleball on a Cruise

A Pickleball in the Sun, all-time favorite vacation – a cruise! Cruise ship directors are fully aware of the pickleball addiction and the need to play while on vacation, even if you’re in the middle of the ocean. We recently cruised on the Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas and we can’t get enough as we’ll be jumping back on a couple more times this year.

On most of their ships, they have specific open play times on the sports court where they provide the pickleball net, court lines and equipment for the whole family to play with an incredible ocean view.

Visit RoyalCaribbean.com to explore your cruise options.

Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa – Indian Wells, CA

The Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa is a dream resort to escape with your family and friends to this unique premier pickleball destination with residential living space that allows you to relax in the outdoor spa on your private patio, a spa-inspired bath, or soak up the views on your private balcony in one of the suites.

Walk out of your room to some of the best scenic views on the way to the four pickleball courts on-site, or stop by the Agua Serena Spa, one of the top spas in Indian Wells.

The kids will have a blast in the HyTides water park, dueling waterslides, lazy river, splash pad, and parents can enjoy the adults-only Oasis pool, with the Oasis Pool Bar nearby.

Visit IndianWells.Hyatt.com for more details.

Omni Amelia Island Resort – Amelia Island, FL

Nestled on 1,350 acres at the tip of a barrier island off the Florida coast, the beautiful Omni Amelia Island Resort offers luxurious oceanfront accommodations with unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean, world-class resort pools, championship golf, and a full-service spa.

After strolling on the beach each morning, or spending the day kayaking, head over to the tennis center where they host 7 pickleball courts surrounded by canopy trees. As part of their Cliff Drysdale program, signup for lessons with their onsite pro or reserve a court to play with your family and friends.

Visit OmniHotels.com for more details.

Laura Gainor talks about growth of pickleball, MLP Investors on Wisconsin’s Afternoon News

Laura Gainor talks about growth of pickleball, MLP Investors on Wisconsin’s Afternoon News

Laura Gainor joined Greg Matzek, host of Wisconsin’s Afternoon News on WTMJ to talk about the growth of pickleball, big names like Drew Brees, LeBron James, Tom Brady, Kevin Durant and other well-known celebrities investing in Major League Pickleball, the addition of pickleball entertainment clubs around the Midwest like Real Dill Pickleball Clubs, and where local Milwaukee fans can play pickleball. 


Over the past few weeks Major League Pickleball has announced big name investors who have purchased teams to grow their league from 12 teams to 16 teams in the 2023 season. These strategic partners to help grow the game include LeBron James, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Kim Clijsters and Kevin Durant. For more information, visit MajorLeaguePickleball.net.

Front Office Sports and The Dink also report on these exciting announcements.


For those in the Milwaukee area, be sure to check out the Pickleball Night with The Milwaukee Bucks on October 29th. Visit their website for more details.


In Laura’s interview with WTMJ, she talks about how pickleball entertainment venues are helpign grow the sport and bringing more courts to the U.S. to keep up with the demand for the sport. For more information about our client, Real Dill Pickleball Clubs, and their mission to bring multiple clubs across the U.S. in the coming years, visit PlayRealDill.com

Pickleball Magazine Feature: Pickleball in the Sun Promotes Pickleball as a Luxurious Lifestyle Brand

Pickleball Magazine Feature: Pickleball in the Sun Promotes Pickleball as a Luxurious Lifestyle Brand

Feature story for the Pickleball Magazine July/August 2022 Issue written by Jennifer Brozak. Read the full issue HERE.

As the saying goes, when opportunity knocks, open the door. Over the past few years, Laura Gainor has heeded this ageless wisdom by transforming an unexpected opportunity into a flourishing career promoting the sport of pickleball.

Gainor is the founder of Vossberg Gainor, an agency focused squarely on pickleball marketing. She is also the creator of “Pickleball in the Sun,” a website that promotes pickleball as a luxury lifestyle and destination sport.

After a successful 15-year career in corporate and sports marketing—including a period of time that required weekly commutes between Milwaukee and Chicago–Gainor decided to launch her own agency so that she could spend more time with her young children.

“In 2019, as we were living in Chicago and I was commuting a few days a week back and forth between Milwaukee and Chicago, I decided it was time for me to venture off on my own and start my own business with the goal of getting a client or two—not knowing what was about to come and change my life,” said Gainor.

Shortly after launching her agency, Gainor’s husband Brian, a sports marketing executive, introduced her to George Bauernfeind, a marketing director with USA Pickleball. Baurenfeind had been searching for someone to assist with the organization’s rebranding efforts.

“I always say I wish I had that first call with George recorded, because I had no idea what pickleball was,” says Gainor. “I was royally confused when he was talking about the sport, but I was committed to jump in and figure it out.”

Intrigued, Gainor asked three of her friends to sign up to learn how to play pickleball at the local community center, which was hosting free clinics to teach people how to play the sport.

“Like everyone else who plays for the first time, we were hooked,” she said. “We were laughing so much and having so much fun that by the end of the night, we officially knew how to play pickleball.”

While living in Chicago, Gainor used her professional event-organizing skills to start the Chicago Pickleball Club, which met at a local gym on Friday nights. As an entrepreneur, Gainor quickly realized the potential both for the sport and for her budding agency.

“While the sport of pickleball is continuing to grow at an immense rate, there are not many marketing agencies that focus solely on the promotion of the sport, its player, and its brands,” she said. “With the need for pickleball marketing growing just as fast as the sport itself, I knew that there would be a need for agencies like Vossberg Gainor to help pickleball players and brands to distinguish themselves throughout the pickleball community.”

“We were playing pickleball weekly, but that came to an abrupt halt when indoor events were shut down,” she said. “It was devastating.”

However, in the summer of 2020, another opportunity presented itself—this time, for her family of four to relocate to one of the country’s pickleball hot spots: Florida.

“In June of 2020, after the four of us were about to hit our breaking points of being inside and forbidden to do what we loved most, we went down to Florida to visit my sister and family, who had just moved to the Nocatee community, which had 12 brand new pickleball courts and multiple waterparks for the kids,” she said.

Shortly after the visit, the Gainors made the decision to sell their home in Chicago and move to Florida to live near family. The move also allowed pickleball to become a lifestyle. Following the move, on the one-year anniversary of her business, Gainor decided to pivot her agency to become the first-ever pickleball marketing agency. The agency’s goal, she says, is to help pickleball brands, organizations, and players successfully market themselves throughout the worldwide pickleball community.

This past year, inspired by her love of travel, lifestyle, and leisure, she launched her passion project, “Pickleball in the Sun,” a website that promotes the “luxurious side of pickleball,” including exclusive destinations around the world that pickleball players can visit to play the sport. The website also partners with a variety of brands that are helping to grow the sport, such as paddles, eyewear, social clubs, activewear, and more.

“Together, this brand is focused on defining pickleball as a destination travel-worthy game, while simultaneously sharing deluxe brands and lifestyle opportunities the sport offers along the way,” she said.

As pickleball continues to grow along with her marketing agency and website, Gainor hopes that more people will find a passion for the game and discover the lifestyle that accompanies it.

“I’m excited to see more pickleball enthusiasts build more courts so that more people can have the chance to play the game,” she said. “We have a lot of exciting opportunities in the works that will bring this game from 5 million players to 10 million players faster than you think. I look forward to looking back 10 years from now and remembering these ‘early’ days, when pickleball was the hottest topic in the nation!”

Two National Media Hits, One Week: Vossberg Gainor coordinates pickleball promotional segments for NBC Nightly News and Good Morning America

Two National Media Hits, One Week: Vossberg Gainor coordinates pickleball promotional segments for NBC Nightly News and Good Morning America

While the effort that goes into growing the sport of pickleball has numerous highs and lows, seeing the hard work and dedication of coordinating efforts with national media outlets to drive more awareness for the game, has always been one of the strongest driving forces in why I love what I get to do each and every day. The Summer of 2022 has been a tremendous high for my pickleball marketing agency, Vossberg Gainor, and my pickleball passion brand; PickleballintheSun.com! I feel so fortunate to be in the position to be able to share my love for the sport of pickleball and to be a driving force in getting as many people as possible across America to also pick up a pickleball paddle and experience the lifestyle it brings.

Over the last nearly 3 years since having USA Pickleball as a client, it has been thrilling to see so much exposure for the growth of the sport, getting the opportunity to work with talented entrepreneurs, and seeing those efforts highlighted on national television.

On Saturday, June 18th Lester Holt’s producer reached out to USA Pickleball as they were working on a pickleball segment that focuses on kids telling other kids how to play the game to be a part of their show, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt: Kids Edition

I jumped at the opportunity, and in less than 24-hours time, we had arranged for their film crew to come to Nocatee, my home community in Ponte Vedra, Florida, and sent messages out to rally together more than 30 local kids to join us to film that coming Monday afternoon and have the chance to learn how to play with local USA Pickleabll Ambassador, Mike Guyot, and certified youth pickleball instructor, Ivan Ramirez. 

The kids ranged from age 4-23 with varying levels of experience playing the game. With their true reactions of either playing the game for the first time or having fun playing multiple games with their friends, the pickleball showcase was a smashing success highlighting the game as a social, yet active sport of the summer. My passion project, Pickleball in the Sun, had the opportunity to represent the sport with USA Pickleball by showcasing the community environment that pickleball brings throughout all 50 States, while outfitted with Pickleball in the Sun gear and sporting their USA Pickleball paddles.

In addition, professional pickleball photographer, Bruce Yeung‘s kids spent 5 minutes easily explaining the game to other youth as to why they love the game, who can beat their dad in a game, and how to get started as a young player.

The day after filming for NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America contacted us and once again, I sent out a message to our loyal Nocatee pickleball community and this time asked for any and all to join us to film a segment for GMA at our local pickleball courts, and within minutes we had more than 30 players set to meet us at the courts just two hours later to play pickleball and do on-camera interviews. The goal with this segment was to teach players how to play the game, as well as discuss the community engagement aspect of the game as well. 

For the live filming, I worked with the GMA producer to coordinate for the crew to film at the Brooklyn Bridge Park courts, thanks to Sarah Krauss, as their beautiful new courts with views of the New York City skyline had just opened.

Once aired on June 29th, the segment was filmed live in New York City at the Brooklyn Bridge Park with GMA correspondents Eva Pilgrim and Will Ganss as they learned how to play the game with USA Pickleball Ambassadors, Paul Curiale and Amote Sias. Paul and Amote rallied local Brooklyn players to join them for the on-air play time and lesson.

The full segment featured clips from other pickleball enthusiasts, including Nocatee interviews with my son Garrett and Barry Sams. 

We were also fortunate to have pickleball player and social media correspondent, Tara Bernstein, volunteer her time and talents to be a part of the live filming in New York City and share a behind-the-scenes look at Eva and Will’s reactions to learning how to play pickleball for the first time.
As  I continue to build my career and utilize my expertise in media relations and experiential pickleball marketing, I am so excited to have opportunities such as NBC Nightly News and Good Morning America to continue to shape my career. Thank you, always, to those at USA Pickleball for their continued support over the years. And thank you to our Nocatee community for being at the ready and providing the courts for these incredible features. These two media hits have been two spectacular highs for my businesses and I, and I am thrilled to see what the future holds in the coming months and years for Vossberg Gainor and Pickleball in the Sun.

Special thanks to Maris Kirs Photography for joining us for both filming days to capture behind-the-scenes photos of our Nocatee pickleball players!


Behind-the-scenes photos by Maris Kirs Photography from the June 20th filming for NBC Nightly News in Nocatee, Florida.


Behind-the-scenes photos by Maris Kirs Photography from the June 21st filming for Good Morning America in Nocatee, Florida.

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt: Kids Edition features USA Pickleball & Pickleball in the Sun

Pickleball in the Sun collaborates with NBC Nightly News: Kids Edition to teach Florida youth how to play the great sport of Pickleball.

Unsurprisingly, the sport of Pickleball has continued to gain traction throughout the United States, this week most notably with a primetime feature on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt: Kids Edition! Pickleball in the Sun had the opportunity to represent the sport with USA Pickleball on national television by showcasing the active yet social environment that pickleball brings to communities throughout the country.

NBC Nightly News: Kids Edition is a segment on NBC igest of the top headlines, broken down for kids to best understand the world today. The topics range from cooking, weather, travel, sports, lifestyle, and more. 

In just two-days time, Pickleball in the Sun helped coordinate a video shoot for NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt: Kids Edition. The segment shines a light on youth pickleball and the benefits of kids learning how to play the game!  

More than 30 kids from the Nocatee community in Ponte Vedra, Florida jumped at the chance to learn how to play pickleball and be featured on NBC. The kids ranged from age 4-23 with varying levels of experience playing the game. With their true reactions of either playing the game for the first time or having fun playing multiple games with their friends, the pickleball showcase was a smashing success. 

USA Pickleball ambassador, Mike Guyot, and Nocatee’s certified youth pickleball instructor, Ivan Ramirez, both attended the shoot to teach kids how to play the game. Each adolescent that attended had the opportunity to learn the sport, practice shots with their friends and family, and experience first-hand what it is like to be a part of a television segment. 

When asked what they love about Pickleball in the Sun, the kids answered that, “Is the fact that it’s a family-oriented sport and we look forward to more kids across America learning how to play Pickleball.”

Tune in to NBC on Saturday, June 25th at 12pm EST (check your local listing) to watch USA Pickleball and Pickleball in the Sun, and other youth around the country,  tell kids how to play pickleball! Follow @NightlyKids and if you’re watching, share your photos on social media and tag Pickleball in the Sun at @pickleballinthesun

Photos: Maris Kirs Photography