50 of the leading influencers — comments
Top 50 influencers

Part 1: Top 50 most influential persons in the ”new” padel world


In recent years, padel has experienced a remarkable surge in popularity, emerging as the fastest-growing sport globally. With its origins rooted in Spain, padel has transcended borders, captivating enthusiasts across continents and becoming a worldwide phenomenon. 

From the proliferation of new padel clubs and facilities to the increasing participation in professional tournaments, the rise of padel in recent years has been nothing short of extraordinary. 

With the industry starting to take shape, sports marketing professional and padel enthusiast Freddie Hanbury looks at 50 of the leading influencers in the ever-evolving padel industry. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors.

Five articles will be published in the coming week, each focusing on people who have a major influence in the world of padel. 

The Padel Alto editorial team was not involved in the selection process. 

Part 1: 30th April 2024
Part 2: 2nd May 2024
Part 3: 4th May 2024
Part 4: 6th May 2024
Part 5: 8th May 2024

”New Padel Markets” Top 50 Influencers’ (Part 1)

Nasser Al Khelaifi 
Chairman of Qatar Sports Investments

When one of the largest sports investors in the world joins the padel sphere, it is not something to ignore. Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) acquired the World Padel Tour last year and has set its goal to build padel into the international sensation its supporters believe it can become. 

Quashing a power struggle which had affected the sport for a couple of years marked a huge moment for padel as - wanting to avoid the LIV Golf, PGA Tour comparisons - padel got its act together as the professional tours were merged under one Premier Padel tour, which was to be sanctioned by the International Padel Federation (FIP).  Under Al Khelaifi’s QSI, Premier Padel has a committed partner with an ambition to turn the sport into a world-beating televised and marketable product. With Olympic ambitions on the horizon for padel, the clock is ticking to give the sport the profile it needs if it is to become truly international. Among the heavy in-tray of Al Khelaifi’s Premier Padel team will be the task of bringing players from non-traditional padel nations - and incorporating tournaments from non-traditional padel countries (curiously omitted from the 2024 Premier Padel calendar), into the sport quickly. With Al Khelaifi at the helm, however, Premier Padel has every opportunity to lead the sport’s global charge.

Enrique Buenaventure 
Hexagon Cup Founder

If Premier Padel has yet to set the world alight yet, then arguably it is Hexagon Cup that has done the running on the world stage, with its attractive prize pot of over 1 million Euros for the victors of the franchise team competition. Some would say that the public profile the Hexagon Cup achieved for just one event over five days in Madrid just six months after launching could generously be described as turning water into wine, such was the attention the tournament got. Sceptics might say that having team owners such as Eva Longoria, Robert Lewandowski and Andy Murray aided that cause. Either way, the Hexagon Cup, and its widely respected leadership team fronted by Enrique Buenaventure has swiftly found its place in the sport’s calendar. 

Buenaventura’s fellow founders Simon Freer, Alejandro Agag, and Alberto Longo, are well- known for having created Formula E, the Extreme E electric off-road racing series, and the E1 all-electric powerboating competition. It is this combined experience that has been swiftly proven in their inaugural competition. 

With its impressive executive team, and progressive partnerships such as the one struck with DMG Ventures, Hexagon Cup is making all the running internationally. And, in a shrewd, prophetic move, Buenaventura and his leadership opted to create teams in the new padel markets of the UK and USA. Expect much more from Buenaventura and his team as the Hexagon Cup establishes itself over the next few years.

Marcos del Pilar 
Co-Founder and Commissioner, Pro Padel League; Director of Padel MBA

What more can you say about Marcos del Pilar that hasn’t yet been said. This swashbuckling Spaniard has been banging the proverbial drum for padel for many years, and finally, deservedly, is seeing the fruits of his labour as the American padel scene now picks up pace. 

For someone that founded his first company at the age of 14, the words pioneer and entrepreneur don’t do del Pilar justice. Here is someone that grabs life with two hands and embraces the opportunities it presents, which is why the often-dubbed ‘Godfather of American Padel’ is Co-Founder and Commissioner of America’s newest professional sports league, the PPL, Director of the Padel MBA USA Programme, and is the Former President of the US Padel Association. As del Pilar’s already-famed quote during his RacquetX session went, “The U.S. is not a promise anymore. Padel is here. It has arrived!” And that’s in large part down to him.

Alan Healy 
Padel India

With the title as the fastest growing sport in the world, it makes sense that India - as the fastest-growing racket sport nation worldwide - is the next country to enter the padel fray. 

Cue Alan Healy, a young former Investment Analyst, who had the foresight, ambition - and let’s be honest, boldness - to become the face of India’s emerging padel movement. Founding Padel India in 2022 - and officially unveiling the company through the arrival of its first ambassador, Nikhil Mohindra, in late March - Healy is on a mission to tapping into the world’s most populous nation’s sporting fandom. 

With a country with around 322 million people who play sport, and with a goal to build clubs, merchandise, technology and more, Healy has bitten off an almighty task in propelling padel in India. However, fortune favours the brave, and in Healy, India has the charming, good looking, energetic representative needed to get India firmly onto the padel map.

Johanna Livijn and Johanna Aybar 
Femme Open Founders

The “Two Johannas” as they are affectionately known are trailblazers for women throughout the padel industry. Hailing from Stockholm, and with backgrounds in the cosmetic, luxury and entertainment sectors, the two glamorous Swedes might just have started something with Femme Open, and might, just might, be on the verge of becoming one of the most successful female sports movements worldwide. 

With a series of announcements of Femme Open entering new markets, this stylish duo have a vision to transform women’s sport, combining competition with social networking in their tournaments. Like I said, they might just be onto something here.

Wayne Boich 
Founder CEO of Reserve Padel

The CEO of Boich Investment Group has had a remarkable career in the mining, energy, and property sectors. He’s also known as someone with a passion for racquet sports, and most recently, yes you guessed it, padel. 

Having played tennis since he was 5 years-old, Boich fell in love with padel on a holiday to France. Boich is best known in padel for founding the “Soho House for padel”, Reserve Padel with its flagship location hugging the Miami waterfront, before he went on to open Manhattan’s first padel courts with his seasonal New York City location. With a second Reserve now open in Miami’s Design District, the recent Reserve Cup featuring the world’s top pros and an array of HNWI players, and more offerings rumoured in the Hamptons and elsewhere, Boich is a widely seen as a force to be reckoned with in the American padel sector.

Santiago Gomez Founder
CEO of Padel Haus

This former investment banker-turned New York Times award winning restaurateur will forever be known as the man who brought padel to the Big Apple. That’s not a bad adage to live by. And yet, that’s exactly what the Mexican entrepreneur did. And boy, didn’t he do it well. 

It took only the first quarter for his Brooklyn club Padel Haus to break even, and since then it has gone from strength to strength with the popular outdoor Domino Park pop-up courts neighbouring the East River during Summer 2023, and a club opening in Dumbo, with the brand’s final Brooklyn instalment to open its doors in Greenpoint later this year. Oh, and then there’s Nashville to come, too. This man knows the sport, knows his market and knows the importance of the modern lifestyle brand that Padel Haus is fast becoming known for.

Tom Murray 
LTA Head of Padel

Britain is one of the leading nations when it comes to racket sports. It is the home of Wimbledon, after all. When the LTA assumed responsibility for padel back in 2019, it was a tell-tale sign that the country - and the governing body itself - was taking padel seriously. It was, let’s be honest, a clever move by the LTA to bring the upstart racket sport into its orbit before it got too big for itself. A sound political move? Maybe. For the good of the sport? Perhaps. It depends who you ask on the British padel scene. 

History aside, the small padel team within the LTA is working tirelessly to help grow the sport, with Murray at the helm. It recently transpired that the LTA is also eyeing up pickleball, though if media reports are anything to go by, expect padel’s American cousin to put up a fight for independence when any decision arrives. Whatever direction the LTA takes with padel, Murray has been a positive catalyst for the sport’s growth and a friendly face for the sport and its fortunes in Britain. A country with a rich racket sports heritage and a promising future.

Alenna Dawn 
Founder & President of Philippines Padel, Founder & CEO of Manila Padel Club, and Founder of Women’s Padel Association

If you haven’t heard of Alenna Dawn, then you soon will.  A speaker at the upcoming Padel World Summit, Dawn is arguably the Philippines’ most recognisable padel figure. A businesswoman and trailblazer for the sport, she is today the Founder & President of the Philippine Padel Association, Founder & CEO of Manila Padel Club and Founder of the Women’s Padel Association. 

Not only this, but Dawn has represented the Philippines on the international stage with a recent victory at the FIP Rise Melbourne. With new padel facilities being introduced across the Philippines with increasing frequency, expect to soon see more Alenna Dawns arrive on the country’s padel scene.

Rob Mitchell 
Pitch International and Premier Padel

If Red Bull are involved with a sport, it means two things. One, it has all the credentials of being an exciting and fast paced sport. Secondly, it is succeeding, and it is moving at pace. With Mitchell, Premier Padel brokered a transformative deal with the Austrian energy drinks giant, which has provided the new global tour with a significant opportunity to bring padel to new audiences and expand sport outside the comfort zone of Spain, Italy, Nordics and South America. 

Operating as commercial director of the official global padel tour puts Mitchell in an influential position which is crucial to growing the sport. In Mitchell, Premier Padel have an experienced, well- respected pair of hands that will surely help accelerate padel’s popularity in these crucial next few years.

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