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Monday, June 24, 2024

MLP-VIBE Merger Creates Future of Pro Pickleball

  • LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Tom Brady, and Kim Clijsters will remain owners.
  • The league will use the 'Major League Pickleball' name.
Joseph Scheller-The Columbus Dispatch

The pickleball war is over before it ever really began.

Major League Pickleball and the Professional Pickleball Association Tour’s VIBE Pickleball League will merge to form one global, co-ed, team-based league, MLP’s Steve Kuhn and PPA’s Tom Dundon announced in a joint statement.

“Coming together as one team league allows us to build much bigger events, offer more prize money, enhance player development, pursue larger media and sponsorship deals,” the league announced.

The combined league will continue using the Major League Pickleball name and format. It also plans to boast the top players in the world and maintain the high-profile team owners it has accumulated in recent months.

  • LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and the duo of Tom Brady and Kim Clijsters were all confirmed by MLP.
  • Anheuser-Busch — which purchased an MLP team Tuesday — is staying on.
  • Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was the first of six VIBE owners announced on Nov. 3.

A league source would not confirm the number of teams or schedule format to Front Office Sports.

Pickleball Planet

The strategic merger now makes Major League Pickleball and the Professional Pickleball Association partners and leaves the Association of Pickleball Professionals Tour as the only other major pro circuit. The latter promotion focuses more on individuals than teams.

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