International Padel
Going truly global: What trends might emerge from the Padel Industry in 2024?

At this time of year, we often consider what’s just been and what is to come over the following 12 months. For a sport as nascent as padel is across much of the world, predictions can range wildly. However, with my company Padel 22 operating across what I like to term the ‘new padel world’ - the countries and regions where the sport is burgeoning - here’s where I see some of the emerging trends if padel is to fulfill its potential as a truly global sport.

This is a column by Padel 22:s Ben Nichols.  

1. America

Until a sport has ‘broken America’, it hasn’t become truly global. 2023 was a landmark year for the sport in the United States with the arrival of the Pro Padel League (PPL), significant media attention in the New York Times and CBS, two new Padel Haus venues in New York City and American firsts such as Taktika’s first padel - pickleball college campus at University of the Pacific in Northern California. This year, expect all this, and then some, as the PPL expands its roster of teams, A1 Padel (which made its U.S. debut in Central Park in the autumn) to expand, and plentiful clubs arriving on both coasts and the many states in between. 2024 will be America’s true arrival on the padel scene.

2. Developing the Next Gen

In nations such as the UK, we have seen the club and venue sector develop considerably in the last 12 months. And whilst this will only accelerate over the coming years, who is focussed on growing junior padel? For the children and young people at schools and universities who could be the first generation of padel olympians when, if as expected, the sport achieves Olympic status perhaps as soon as 2032? We’re starting to witness this in Britain - Golden Point Padel held the first University Padel Competition in Bristol late last year - but there’s a long way to go. Expect over the next 12 months to see more entrepreneurs focussed on the education sector, and building padel foundations for the generations of tomorrow. 

3. Increased “Anglo-isation” of the sport 

Look for any padel content online and, with the odd exception, the vast majority of high quality content and footage is in Spanish. This is to be expected, given where the sport has developed over the past 50 years. However, as the game looks to become truly global, expect that trend to re-balance somewhat. Perhaps not overnight - and perhaps not with the player representation of the world rankings for quite some time yet - but increasingly I believe we will start to see more padel “stuff” (content, tournaments, brands and leagues) emanate from the English-speaking world where the sport is now taking off. 

4. Multi-racket sport clubs

Just as many new business owners have put their chips into padel, there might well be another option causing a re-think. And that’s pickleball. With pickleball causing a cultural sensation in the United States - 36.5 million people played pickleball from August 2021 to August 2022, according to an Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) report - there are many in new padel nations that think it might be worth building pickleball courts alongside padel. Such is the low cost of constructing pickleball courts (in comparison to padel) that it’s seen as a way of a club diversifying its offering, engaging an older demographic (to whom pickleball might appeal for longer than padel) and, well, becoming a talking point for a sport that’s even less known than padel. Just like padel newcomers to the U.S. are lessening the risk of their new build venues by offering pickleball alongside, so might we see this happen in reverse in countries such as the UK, Australia and elsewhere. 

By Ben Nichols Founder 
CEO of Padel 22

Founded in October 2022, Padel 22 is the world’s first padel-dedicated Communications Consultancy. Ben and his team have worked with the likes of New York’s first padel club Padel Haus, America’s newest professional sports league the PPL, the U.S.’ largest operator Taktika Padel, the UK’s premium club Padium, GB No.1 Tia Norton and others. If you are a new padel business looking to raise your profile, then get in touch with Ben to discover how Padel 22 can help you, at: 

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