What is padel?
To put it simply, padel is basically a mixture of tennis and squash.
It is played on a 10m by 20m court enclosed by glass walls and metal fencing and is preferably played in doubles.
Padel is less physically demanding than tennis, which makes it easier to learn, but it is also just as difficult to master.
In padel the ball rarely goes out of play due to the court being surrounded by glass walls and fences. This creates longer rallies and makes it more difficult to get points by just using brute force.
And according to several online sources, padel tennis is considered the fastest growing sport in the world.
Can this be true? And if so, how is it that padel is becoming so extremely popular so quickly?
The rise of padel
In recent years padel has grown rapidly and is now played by over 8 million players worldwide. While statistically speaking this still makes padel a relatively small sport, especially when compared to the biggest sport in the world, which is football. In comparison, approximately 265 million people play football according to FIFA data, which is 4% of the entire world population.
Even though padel has technically only started from relatively small numbers, it has a great growth potential and grows at a rate of roughly 250,000 new players every year.
Currently, Spain and Argentina are the largest padel nations in the world. Spain has more than 11,500 courts and Argentina more than 8,000.
Padel participation statistics. This image is Copyright of www.statista.com © Statista 2019.
Aside from those two countries, padel is also growing in other markets around the world and this is happening fast.
While it is difficult to estimate exactly how many padel players there currently are around the world, the worldwide sales of padel rackets are a good indicator of growth. In 2002, 83,000 padel rackets were sold, and in 2017 the number was rising to 409,000.
Particularly since 2010, the world of padel has been growing and thriving consistently and is now viewed by people all over the world as the fastest growing sport.
Everything started when Mexican billionaire Enrique Corcuera came to Acapulco in 1969. He wanted to build a tennis court but had insufficient space to do so. Instead, he used his imagination and ended up creating a new sport instead, which is what today is known as padel.
At first only the top Mexican elite played this sport. Afterwards, padel spread through the likes of Enrique Corcuera’s rich friends to Marbella in Spain and then to Argentina.
The first World Championships were organized in Seville, Spain in 1992, with delegations from 11 different countries in Europe and America.
Considered to be the fastest-growing sport in the world, the World Padel Tour is increasingly gaining momentum each year. In Spain it has been the second-most popular game.
In the year 2018, a quarter of a million people will experience the best padel game in the world, an increase of around 15% compared to 2017. In the 2018 Master Final, there were almost 25,000 live viewers, the highest number ever reached in a padel tournament.
All 190 WPT games broadcast were viewed over 23 million times on the YouTube channel. This is a 42% increase over 2017.
Padel has been attracting more and more celebrity players and advocates, including Peter Crouch, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jürgen Klopp and Andy Murray, who has recently invested in a company that’s promoting the game back in the UK.
Peter Crouch and Andy Murray squaring off in a match of padel tennis in November 2020. This image is Copyright of the Lawn Tennis Association © LTA 2020.
Padel in Asia
The construction of the first padel court in Japan in 2013 marked the commencement of the sport in Asia. Singapore soon followed suit and opened its first padel court at the Swiss Club in 2014. This kickstarted the future development of this sport in Asia.
More Asian countries subsequently jumped on the padel bandwagon and began the construction of padel courts, including Hong Kong, Thailand and India.
Today there is a huge market in India and several clubs are building padel courts there. When padel sports gain a foothold in large markets like India, it will grow even faster than today.
The sport has seen significant progress across Asia and more countries like China, the UAE and Qatar have been building new courts for their people to experience the joys of padel.
2021 is around the corner and the future is promising
Padel is thriving worldwide, particularly in countries with strong traditions of playing tennis.
On a professional level, the top players receive significantly better sponsorship contracts every year, and the World Padel Tour is committed to further develop the sport around the world.
The construction of new padel courts in various Asian markets has already been confirmed, which will further increase participation throughout the region.
Large corporations invest in padel, and you can expect the sport to continue to grow next year and beyond.
It is not a question of if, but when will the padel bug infect your country?
Are you interested in how your business can get involved in the globally fastest-growing sport?
Trust us, the hype is real and now is the right time to get involved in padel.
Get in touch now to to find out how Dejavu can help your business get associated with the exciting new sport of padel!
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