Top 50 influencers

Part 4: 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: Read here.
Part 2: Read here.
Part 3: Read here
Part 4: 8th May 2024 
Part 5: 10th May 2024

”New Padel Markets” Top 50 Influencers’ (Part 4)

Denise Höfer 
German No.1 Padel Player

In addition to being the leading female padel player in Germany and captain of the German national padel team, Höfer is a savvy communicator and marketeer, with a strong background in international sport marketing. As one of the most active communicators on social media channels, she knows the importance of brand to a growing, attractive sector such as padel. This former pro tennis-turned-padel player has burst onto the padel scene, and as she knocks on the door of the world’s top 100 (she’s currently number 126 on the FIP rankings), she’s likely to be one of the most recognisable faces in international padel for years to come.

Alex Inglot 
ESL Pro-League Commissioner

Brought up in a family who love racket sports, and with his brother Dom representing GB in the Davis Cup, choosing to go down the E-sport path may not have been the obvious path for this Oxford graduate. However, his fascinating career has taken him into the worlds of strategic leadership, investment, eSports, sports integrity, the upper echelons of men’s tennis and now, seemingly, heading into padel. This forward-thinking former ATP Board member is fast becoming respected in the padel industry for his candid views on topics such as the padel federation vs tennis federation, innovation, player advocacy and much more. With Inglot, and his impressive track record in sport, it’s a case of watch this space.

Tim Bainton 
COO of Epic Padel

For many, being the largest operator of padel clubs in North America would seem like an unattainable dream, but for Tim Bainton, it's a realistic goal. Widely regarded as one of the new, emerging figures in the American padel scene, Bainton's new venture, Epic Padel, has sparked anticipation among many who are eager to witness his next move.

Bainton's career has been defined by perseverance, determination, and a knack for innovative thinking, consistently yielding success. As Epic Padel prepares for its full launch this June, Bainton is setting his sights on the summit, drawing upon over 15 years of experience in sports management to propel the company forward. 

With investments already diversifying across the industry, including notable brands such as TWOTWO, Bond Racquet Club, and The Hexagon Cup, Epic Padel demonstrates its commitment to making waves both domestically and internationally. Armed with a comprehensive understanding of the racket sports market, Bainton and his team are primed to climb the ladder of the American padel industry.

Craig Thompson 
CEO of Mindspring Padel

If the person who launched the UEFA Champions League wants to get into padel, you can bet your bottom dollar that this sport is a credible, long-term sport that’s here to stay. And in Mindspring Padel, the Californian is working with tennis federations worldwide to accelerate the growth of padel. 

Supporting the integration of padel into tennis clubs by investing is allowing natural growth of our game to occur – such is Thompson’s mantra. The strategy adopted by Mindspring is an interesting and alluring one, meaning the build of courts won’t cost the club one cent – and surely a crucial step to making padel accessible to all networks and backgrounds. Thompson believes that it is “a true win-win,” if padel and tennis can co-exist alongside each other and because of this he is, thirty years after helping found the Champions League, once again proving his power and impact within the global sports industry.

Toni Montesanti 
Owner of Jungle Padel Bali

There are few places in the world which rival Bali for beauty. Montesanti found this when he escaped London during the Coronavirus Pandemic for six months. Three years later he returned. Discovering padel in Spain before the pandemic, Montesanti used his knowledge and playing prowess to help co-found Jungle Padel, the first ever padel club in Indonesia. 

The thought behind the club was simple, they loved the game and needed somewhere to play! It turned out to be more than this, it was about creating and expanding the sport’s reach in Indonesia. With a love for racket sports already present, it was only a matter of time before padel gripped the population, and so Jungle Padel gave them that opportunity. With a love for the game along with an entrepreneurial intrigue, Montesanti and his partners created something special, and it is only a matter of time before it grows further.

Hank Medina 
Meme Lord Liquidity, Investor in Bond Life Club

Harnessing a blend of intelligence, wit, and charisma, Hank Medina has swiftly risen to prominence across America. Renowned as the owner of Meme Lord Liquidity's social media accounts, he carved a niche in the finance realm, amassing a loyal following of 800k on Instagram. 

Medina's passion for padel led him to invest in Bond Life Club, a health club in the Hamptons with padel at the frontier. Transitioning from a tennis player in his youth to a fervent padel enthusiast, he envisions Bond as a hub for both seasoned players and newcomers alike. The endorsement of a sport by someone of Medina's social influence cannot be overstated; with the creation of premier facilities in an area frequented by many of his followers, the combination of social media and sport guarantees that the padel world will undoubtedly feel Medina's impact.

Paul Vittecoq, Lucas Basset-Chercot, Waleed Alamir and Othmane Mekouar, 
Co-Founders of Matcha Club Dubai

The simple dream for any padel player would be to get a group of friends together and found your own padel club. That is exactly what these four entrepreneurs did spurred on by the tiring nature of trying to find a free court! 

The Matcha Club was founded to bring something different. With high quality facilities, a stylish, minimalist look at odds with Dubai’s more blingy reputation, the aim was to create somewhere social where members could hang out off the court as well as on. Doing this while also being sustainable has separated them from the rest. Solar panels, recycled wood and much more allow them to maintain a green image which helped them land a partnership with Adidas. These four men between them have careers covering finance, property development, design and urban planning - some might say everything you need to launch a padel club! Experience galore has allowed them to create something truly special and which no doubt will be a roaring success in the years to come.

Britt Dubins 
USA’s No.1 Padel Player

When thinking about padel players in the US, images of Spanish or South American born players drawn to America's high-stakes competitions come to mind. Britt Dubins, however, goes against the norm. A native of Miami now based in Madrid, Dubins exudes affability and ambition, emerging as one of the sport's most captivating new figures. 

Arguably the finest female player in America, she has proudly represented Team USA in international arenas and stands as one of the few Americans competing in the prestigious PPL. Not content with her on-court achievements alone, Dubins co- hosts the podcast 'The Padel Movement' alongside Padel-22 Founder, Ben Nichols. With a law degree under her belt, the future holds incredible promise for Dubins, both on and off the court. There is now doubt that the US padel scene could benefit from more trailblazers like Britt Dubins!

Austin Edwards 
Founding Editor of The Padel State

This lifelong racket sport enthusiast grew up playing competitive junior tennis in Colorado before transitioning to squash while at college on the East Coast. They say that tennis and padel offer the perfect blend for the padel player, and so it proved as Edwards, most recently converted his love of rackets to the world’s fastest-growing sport, both on and off the court. 

On the court, Edwards has played padel everywhere from South Florida to San Diego, Denver to Chicago, Venice Island, PA to Vicenza, Italy. Austin was also part of a small group of padel evangelists who helped build the first ever court in the state of South Carolina, which opened in December 2022. 

Off the court, in 2023, he spotted an opportunity only last year to create The Padel State, America’s first padel-dedicated media site which, in only six months has rapidly become the go-to resource for the sport stateside. With an impressive career in marketing and copywriting - a career in which he helped generate $200m+ in revenue for the companies he represented - Edwards is a coup for the sport in the US, and one of the reasons for the new momentum the sport has from coast to coast.

Davy Sanh 
Founder & CEO of POP Padel Singapore

In news that will delight many of the racket sports fans in Singapore, there has been an agreement for a brand-new playing facility to be installed in Lengkok Bahru. Davy Sanh has been Instrumental in growing padel in the racket sport enthusiastic market of Singapore, and the implementation of POP Padel’s new sites will be crucial to the ever-growing popularity of this sport. Sanh is definitely one to watch and one of the key figures behind what will be a very important area for padel worldwide. Expect more, much more from Singapore and from Sanh.

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