The Pickleball Market


An Opportunity to Capture the “Serious Player” Market

Pickleball has been labeled as an older person’s game and is very popular in retirement communities throughout the southern United States and Florida.  Most players in Community Centers are also retired or semi-retired and have the free time to play several times during the work week. 

In the past two years, however, a growing number of aging tennis and racquetball players have switched to the sport because it has a lower injury rate, yet still provides a tremendous competitive challenge.  The Company believes this will be the fastest growing segment of the demographic market for Pickleball.  An ever growing number of over-40 tennis and racquetball converts have been posting their support on line.

The tennis, racquetball and squash manufacturers are taking notice.  Other major players in the racquet sports industry have begun to enter the space. The company Escalade, who owns the Prince Tennis and “Ping-Pong” brands, has even begun to buy up smaller Pickleball manufacturers.

Most Pickleball companies focus on specific target markets.  Each is made up of different skill levels and ages and is reached in different ways.  We have clustered these into different “venue” market groups:

  1. The Tournament market. The smallest of the market segments, many manufacturers believe this group may have a large influence on the paddle selection process.  Manta, Selkirk, PaddleTek and Gamma have focused on tournaments with booths and sales staff at all the national, regional and even city tournaments.  Estimated segment size = 50,000 players.
  2. The Retirement Community market.  One of the largest and the most competitive markets.  All the manufacturers have reps and sales strategies targeting this aging retirement community in Sun Belt states.  Estimated segment size = 500,000. 
  3. The Community Center market.  This market is large and growing fast.  Seattle is the most mature and has grown from once a week play in one or two Community Centers, to twice a week in all 15 Centers in the city with 25 – 40 people attending.

    TORQ believes this will become the fastest growing segment of every city in America and that this market will be the driving force of the sport for the next 5 years.  We anticipate the top 50 cities in the US will follow the same growth rate as Seattle. 

    This will be the primary target for marketing and sales efforts for TORQ equipment.  Estimated segment size – 600,000.
  4. The School and Institution market.  Schools have had Pickleball for decades, where it has proven to be an inexpensive and simple to run program.  This segment is budget conscious, however, and is ruled by low cost and durable equipment, rather than higher performance gear.  The Company will target this group as well with a low cost, durable, yet innovative alternative to wooden paddles.  Estimated segment size = 200,000.
  5. The “Home” Recreational market.  This segment is made up of individual family groups who set up their own courts for their own use.  A smaller market than any other, this group is limited by the cost of personal courts and real estate to hold them.  Estimated segment size = 15,000.

The Company believes the right approach to the market will target the fastest growing segments while avoiding overcrowding from competitors.

The Company will therefore focus on two primary market segments:
     1. Community Centers, colleges and universities in the top 200 cities
         throughout the US. 
     2. The aging tennis, racquetball and squash player market.

Marketing:

Marketing will consist of TORQ web-site sales initiatives, web strategies with retailers, Google driven messaging and targeted ads.  We will speak to the aging racquet sport player who demands high quality, technically innovative equipment.  We will drive trial and use through demonstrations at tournaments and at Pickleball venues through our Ambassador and product development efforts. 

A customer retention program will be driven by a “TORQ Team” concept, connecting with players to bring news about products, offer incentives for purchase and reward referrals and cross sell efforts.

People will notice TORQ’s new, high-tech look and feel and high production value and immediately understand the advantages over other paddles.  Unique handle and grip design, along with new insert materials, will keep innovations coming through the years.

Players will be able to buy paddles from our own web site, as well as established Pickleball distributors and retailers throughout the US and the web.