The growth and popularity of pickleball continue to increase as the sport has now been deemed “blimpworthy.”
The iconic Goodyear Blimp will make its first-ever pickleball appearance at the CIBC Professional Pickleball Association (PPA Tour) Finals at the Life Time Rancho athletic resort in San Clemente, California, this weekend.
“We have a saying: if it’s a big event, the Goodyear Blimp is there,” Goodyear’s director of airship operations, Chris Kostiuk, said in a press release. “The Goodyear Blimp’s appearance at the final PPA tournament of the year is a fitting tribute to the sport’s growing popularity.”
Created for marketing purposes back in the 1920s, the Goodyear Blimp has been a staple of important events throughout sports and entertainment, making appearances at over 2,000 since 1955. It has pioneered many marketing trends and will increase the visibility of the country’s most booming sport.
Pickleball has experienced a seemingly continuous burst in popularity over the last three years, growing by 158.6% and reaching millions of players across the nation.
“The Goodyear Blimp’s appearance at the CIBC PPA Tour Finals, the culmination of a thrilling season, is a symbol that Pickleball is officially entering the ranks of other professional sports — that we have arrived,” added PPA Tour found and CEO Connor Pardoe, per the press release. “We are thrilled to celebrate this exciting moment for the sport as a whole and the PPA Tour this weekend with players and fans alike.”
Goodyear and Skechers will also debut a unique collaboration for the tournament, unveiling a new line of shoes for the players to wear that allow for more traction and control over movement thanks to the implementation of “Goodyear Gold rubber technology.”
The CIBC PPA Finals began on Thursday night and will continue until 9 p.m. CT on Sunday. Sunday’s championship match will be broadcast on FS1.