The sport of pickleball has experienced a tremendous surge in popularity across the United States in recent years. According to a 2022 New York Times article, over 4.8 million Americans of all ages have embraced this exciting paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong.
Pickleball can be played both indoors and outdoors, making it accessible to enthusiasts all year round. Participants use a paddle and a plastic ball with holes, adding a unique twist to the game.
Now, professional athletes are not only enjoying pickleball in their spare time but also investing in its future. One such athlete is Micah Parsons, star linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys. Parsons has joined an ownership group of the Texas Ranchers, a Major League Pickleball (MLP) franchise.
The MLP club recently announced this exciting ownership deal, which includes approximately 30 notable figures from the world of professional sports, entertainment, music, and business. Parsons took to social media to express his enthusiasm for this new venture.
"I’ve always looked for new sports to stay active during the off-season and pickleball has become my new obsession, Parsons wrote. “I love that it’s a community-oriented sport and after playing with the Ranchers and other NFL players for a fundraiser in June, I was drawn to the team."
The Texas Ranchers ownership group boasts an impressive roster of investors. Among them are top-ranked golfer Scottie Scheffler, award-winning country music star Zach Bryan, Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud, Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, Atlanta Falcons running back Bijan Robinson, top-ranked American tennis player Taylor Fritz, NFL player agent David Mulugheta, radio personality Bobby Bones, and designer Kendra Scott.
Major League Pickleball, founded by Steve Kuhn in 2021, is the leading team-based professional pickleball league and a driving force behind the sport's rapid growth in the United States. Starting with just eight teams, MLP has expanded to include an impressive roster of 24 teams.
Micah Parsons and his fellow investors are not the only NFL and sports luminaries to recognize the potential of pickleball. Retired NFL legend Tom Brady and former world No.1 tennis player Kim Clijsters made headlines last year when they bought into a 2023 Major League Pickleball expansion team.
The growth and investment in pickleball are undeniable, and with the addition of Micah Parsons to the Texas Ranchers ownership group, the sport is set to reach new heights. As pickleball continues to captivate players and fans alike, it's clear that this thrilling paddle sport is here to stay.