Prepare Your Business Plan for America’s Fastest Growing Sport – Pickleball
If you are an entrepreneur looking for your next investment in a sports or fitness business, simply click on the word Pickleball and you will be taken to USA Pickleball where you will receive an excellent introduction to this sport that has become incredibly popular and therefore, a potentially amazing business opportunity.
According to ThePickleballPlayer.com, Pickleball has 8.9 million players in the USA and a growth rate of 158.6% for the last three-year period (2020-22). In 2022 alone, the number of pickleball players grew by an unbelievable 85.7%. According to Fact.MR, the pickleball equipment market was worth $65 billion in 2022. The report predicts a CAGR of 9%, taking the market size to $155 billion in 2033. In the USA, an 8% growth rate is expected, while Canada is likely to see a 7% CAGR.
Select demographics include:
- The average age of pickleball players in 2021 was 38.1 years, down from 41 years in 2020. This shows that pickleball is gaining traction among the youth.
- The average age of core players is 47.5 years and of casual players is 33.6 years.
- 33% of the core players are over 65 years of age.
- 8% of players are in the age bracket 18-34, which is the highest among all the age groups. But this age group also has the greatest number of casual players (33.9% of the total).
- The south-Atlantic region is the home to most pickleball players (around 1 million). However, the West North Central Region has shown the highest growth rate (30%) in 2022.
- Around 1.2 million pickleball players are college graduates.
Not Enough Courts/Facilities to Keep Up with Consumer Demand
The construction of new pickleball facilities is not keeping up with the surging player interest in the sport. This suggests that the most compelling business opportunity may well be in owning pickleball courts where players will pay to enjoy the sport. Clearly, there will be market demand for both indoor and outdoor courts.
Pickleball facilities may be owned or leased. A court measures 900 square feet and approximately 1,200 square feet of space is required for each court in a multi-court facility. For indoor courts, an important issue is height, with the normal height requirement thought to be 15 feet. Think of vacant former big box stores as an example of an appropriate venue. For outdoor courts, lighting for night play is important so zoning issues must be addressed.
Whether you are acquiring a property to be developed or re-purposed for your pickleball business or leasing space, a significant capital investment is required. As with any business, if you have access to capital, you are good to go. If on the other hand, you need to source capital from investors or lenders, you will need to communicate the business and investment opportunity provided by the new business and that is where your business plan is a critical tool for your success. And, by the way, even if you are using your own capital, a roadmap (plan) and solid financial forecast will be a must.
Your Business Plan Must Answer the Following Questions
- Have you identified a property that will suit your space needs perfectly?
- Do you have sports or fitness industry experience? If not, how will you mitigate that?
- Have you checked out local licensing and zoning requirements?
- Do pickleball demographics match up with the demographics of your community?
- Can you make money and generate cash flow? How?
- Do you have a target market in mind?
- Have you analyzed the competitive environment in terms of municipally owned and privately owned facilities?
- Have you considered the marketing strategies and budget required to create awareness for your new business?
Tips for Creating Your Pickleball Business Plan
- Be sure that it responds to the questions above.
- Make sure that the impression that it makes is as professional as you intend to be.
- Articulate your goals and strategies for a 3-5 year period of time.
- Show that you have the skills to organize and build a winning team.
- Ensure that the financial forecast is consistent with the requirements of your proposed source of funding.
We have only touched the surface in terms of the many issues that you must consider in creating your business plan and in launching and managing your business. There are many online resources for help in creating your own business plan. If you believe that you may not have the skills to create your own business plan, then talk to us about the advantages of a professionally developed business plan, financial forecast and, if required, a pitch deck.