Major League Pickleball is adding another sports GOAT to its roster of owners.
Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady is part of an ownership group of an expansion team that will begin play in the 2023 MLP season.
Brady isn’t the only big player getting in on the hottest new professional sports league, which will see its ranks expand from 12 to 16 teams before next season.
- Six-time tennis Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters is the other big-name athlete in the ownership group. She’s most excited about getting to “help shape the future of pickleball.”
- The group, led by Knighthead Capital Management LLC, also includes Knighthead co-founder Tom Wagner, film producer Matt Alvarez, and Wall Street bond saleswoman Callie Simpkins.
- Financial advisor Kaitlyn Kerr is also part of the group and will serve as the team’s general manager.
The new team will be 50% female-owned, aligning with the league’s push for gender equality.
The continued investment in the professional league will likely do wonders for a sport that is dominating recreational circles.
MLP founder Steve Kuhn said these new owners will help “showcase the joy [pickleball] brings to millions of people around the globe” — and further the sport’s goal of having 40 million players by 2030.
Next season, MLP will hand out $2 million in prize money.
For now, though, the league’s teams will compete for the MLP title from Oct. 14-16 — where a sport-record $319,000 purse is up for grabs.