Pickleball craze inspires new lifestyle magazine
The pickleball craze sweeping America has gotten so out of hand that there will soon be a lifestyle magazine dedicated to it.
Edition veteran Dick Porter of Meredith has teamed up with magazine designer J. Armus to launch In Pickleball, a new sports lifestyle magazine for fans of the fast-growing game.
The publishing duo claim that In Pickleball will be “the Vogue of Pickleball”, printed on heavyweight paper and will appeal to the older and better-off Americans who live for the game.
The first number has Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave, a former star of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” wielding her pickleball racket. Articles include “The Fastest Growing Sport in America: How Pickleball Conquered the Nation” and “Quiz: What Kind of Pickleball Player Are You?”
“Coming out of this pandemic, people yearn for a sense of community and to escape,” said In Pickleball creative director Armus, who worked on O, Oprah magazine, Entertainment Weekly and Everyday with Rachael Ray, and who recruited Porter to be president of In Pickleboard LLC.
“Pickleball is an inclusive community that welcomes anyone who wants to experience the joy of playing,” said Armus. “As soon as you step onto a field, you can have a good time. It’s something that we need in our culture.
For anyone who doubts the pickleball craze is real, consider sports reporter Taylor McGregor’s May segment on how the Chicago Cubs baseball team got ‘addicted’ to the game after some players settled in. a net in the bullpen.
“Now the team got hooked on playing pickleball during a game,” McGregor said in the segment, which included a t-shirt worn by coach Mike Napoli that read, “Stay out of the way. kitchen Play pickleball.
It’s not just the Chicago Cubs. The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, California now only has three tennis courts, but 12 pickleball courts. And Marriott’s JW Desert Resort in Phoenix offers a “Pickleball Package” for under $ 300 a night.
“It started in the Pacific Northwest in the 1960s, but it’s really taken off recently,” said Porter, who noted that pickleball courts are quickly overtaking tennis courts across the country, but especially in South.
While Porter believes the magazine will appeal primarily to the 50-plus age group, he points out that young people, including high school kids and the Chicago Cubs, are embracing the game as well.
The first issue will be distributed free of charge to approximately 30,000 sports fans through resorts, hotels and other places known to attract pickleballers.
Readers will be charged $ 7.99 per copy thereafter.
“While we welcome all advertisers, we believe, like many magazines today, that it needs to be supported by readers,” Porter explained of the magazine, which he sees as the first step in what will eventually become multiplatform, involving social media, a web presence and e-commerce.
Pickleball is a cross between badminton and wiffleball. The founders of the game are the late Congressman Joel Pritchard and two associates, Bill Bell and Barry McCullum, who invented it while on vacation in 1965.
The USA Pickleball trade association said that in 2019 there were 30,000 pickleball courts in the United States, an increase of 133% over five years.
For Porter, trade sports publications are in his blood.
“My first job in publishing was with Fly Fisherman magazine with Ziff Davis Publications, which had specialist sports magazines like Backpacker and Sports Diver as well as a few small tech magazines covering the nascent computer industry. In many ways I’m going back to my roots, ”said Porter, who left Meredith six years ago.
He did not disclose the funding, but said the original funders were mostly friends and family, mostly from the west coast.
“We have more than enough money to make it happen,” Porter said.
He said he expects sport keep growing to over 20 million attendees in the United States, and if that happens, he expects the magazine to reach 500,000 copies.