- New sponsorships of the Association of Pickleball Players (APP), Major League Pickleball’s D.C. Pickleball Team, Professional Pickleball Association Tour (PPA), and U.S. Senior Pickleball (USSP) begin in fall 2023
- Approximately one-third of frequent pickleball players are 65+, highlighting the popularity of the sport with seniors
In recognition of pickleball’s rapidly growing popularity in the U.S., the increasing need for court space across the country, and the sport’s life-changing benefits both on and off the courts, today Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) is announcing four new sponsorship agreements with the nation’s leading pickleball organizations.
“As we have seen pickleball’s popularity soar over the past several years, we’re excited to continue championing the game, partner with leading organizations that are working hard to promote the sport, and make it more accessible to more people in more places, especially to seniors,” said Jennifer Bazante, Chief Marketing Officer at Humana. “As a leader in integrated care for seniors, we strive to create experiences that enable health, enhance activity and foster connectivity so seniors can live their healthiest age yet, and there’s no better activity than pickleball that does just that.”
Humana’s new pickleball sponsorships go beyond traditional advertising and branding opportunities, to also include senior-focused tournaments and clinics in celebration of those who have popularized the sport, as well as community impact projects to create more access to the game. For each of the sponsorships, Humana will be the “Official and Exclusive Healthcare Partner;” specific highlights of each sponsorship include:
Association of Pickleball Players (APP) – In addition to Humana advertising on all televised APP events, Humana and APP will host the first-ever “The Humana Cup” where senior pros (age 50+) and super senior pros (60+) will compete for prize money in key markets on the APP Tour. Humana will also establish an all-new wellness and recovery space for players on the APP Tour to relax and recover with fitness equipment and nutritious food and drink to fuel their game; and will work with local community members to plan and launch dedicated community-impact projects, including the provision of courts to benefit community members of tournament host cities.
D.C. Pickleball Team – In addition to the sponsorships summarized above, Humana has agreed to sponsor the Washington D.C. Pickleball Team (DCPT) through the end of the year. Humana’s logo will be featured on its jerseys worn to matches and community events by its team members including number two ranked pickleball player in the world Riley Newman; the most dynamic women’s duo in all of pickleball, Jade and Jackie Kawamoto; Christian Alshon who is one of the fastest up and coming players and is already ranked within the top 15; and number one draft pick in the MLP Challenger Draft, Sam Querrey.
Professional Pickleball Association (PPA Tour) – Naming rights to the Humana championship court which will feature a branded non-volley zone, or “kitchen,” area showcasing Humana’s logo on both sides of the net at each of the 25+ nationally-broadcast tour stops on the 2023-24 PPA Tour, which showcases the best players in the world on the biggest stages. Additionally, the partnership will see advertising in all televised PPA Tour events, and at four 2024 marquee tournament stops, the PPA Tour and Humana will host a senior-focused “Humana Champions Cup,” as well as senior-focused clinics that will be open to the public.
U.S. Senior Pickleball (USSP) – Humana is partnering with USSP to celebrate both recreational and competitive senior pickleballers and promote pickleball as a fun and affordable way to lead a healthy, active, and connected lifestyle. Humana will serve as presenting sponsor of each USSP Championship Series event as well as support the launch of a senior pickleball brand ambassador program in 160+ markets with the focus of hosting events and clinics for the senior community.
In 2023, per an APP report, more than 48.3 million adult Americans have played pickleball at least once in the past 12 months; according to a report issued by the SFIA, more than half (52%) of core pickleball players in the U.S. – those who play eight or more times a year – are 55 and older, and almost one third (32.7%) of all core pickleball players are 65 and older.
These sponsorships are announced on the heels of the inaugural National Mall of Pickleball, the first-ever construction of nine temporary pickleball courts on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Created in partnership with the Trust for the National Mall, the three-day event brought pickleball to “America’s most inviting Front Yard,” with 180 hours of free court time for nearly 800 picklers who had the chance to play against an iconic U.S. backdrop.
Humana Inc. is committed to putting health first – for our teammates, our customers, and our company. Through our Humana insurance services, and our CenterWell health care services, we make it easier for the millions of people we serve to achieve their best health – delivering the care and service they need, when they need it. These efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, Medicaid, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large. Learn more about what we offer at Humana.com and at CenterWell.com.
Humana Corporate Communications