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Drew Brees Buys Ownership Stake in Major League Pickleball Team

by Thomas Shields on

From the MLP Press Release:

"The former NFL quarterback joins “Mad Drops Pickleball Club” ownership group led by Good Alpha Industries (Consumer Venture Capital) and alongside Andrew Dodge (Investor, Entrepreneur), Jim Buss (part-owner, Los Angeles Lakers), Ryan Serhant (Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York) and other strategic investors."

Well well well. We knew the future hall-of-famer and Super Bowl Champion was an avid pickleballer, but this is another level of dedication.

It wasn't too long ago that we saw the first glimpse of Mr. Brees on the pickleball court with the likes of President George W. Bush (bottom right in the coat) and Jeb Bush.

He's not the only NFL player that's obsessed (See: The NFL Can't Get Enough of Pickleball).

But then we got our second glimpse as he graced Major League Pickleball Austin with his presence earlier this year. He and golf legend Sergio Garcia were two of the highlights on Championship Sunday.

Now we know why he was there. He wanted to see the product himself. Sounds like he likes what he saw. Smart man.

MLP kind of buried the (partial) lead here though - joining him in the ownership group is Jim Buss of the LA Lakers and Ryan Serhant of reality tv show Million Dollar Listing.

Major League Pickleball has quite the list of owners (our interview with Gary Vee) at this point, and we hear that they're planning to add more.

Full Statement

Austin, TX., July 21, 2022 -- Drew Brees, Super Bowl Champion and avid pickleball fan, has joined an ownership group of Major League Pickleball (MLP) team “Mad Drops Pickleball Club (Mad Drops PC),” it was announced today by MLP. The record-breaking former NFL quarterback joins a stacked roster of high-profile owners including investor and entrepreneur Andrew Dodge; Los Angeles Lakers part-owner Jim Buss; real estate mogul, star of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York and Founder and CEO of Serhant, Ryan Serhant; consumer venture capital firm Good Alpha Industries and other strategic investors.

“I am an avid pickleball player, fan and student of the game,” said Brees. “The opportunity to be a part of the ownership group of the Mad Drops PC is something I’m extremely excited about, and I look forward to helping raise awareness around the incredible players and competitions in MLP, helping grow the sport of pickleball and fostering overall fan engagement. As a long-time professional athlete and competitor, myself, I look forward to working with the Mad Drops PC team in our relentless quest to win many championships in the years to come.”

As the standard-bearer for the fastest-growing sport in the United States, MLP delivers the highest-quality and most exciting experience in pickleball. With a team-based, co-ed format and innovative rules that highlight athletes’ and fans’ passion for the game, MLP’s goal is to elevate and grow the sport in everything it does.

The new ownership group of Mad Drops PC joins other high-profile team owners including entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk (Gary Vee), famed lecturer and research professor Brené Brown, co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks Marc Lasry and former World No.4 tennis player James Blake.

“We are thrilled to welcome such a strong group of strategic investors and partners into the MLP family,” said MLP Founder, Steve Kuhn. “MLP is the preeminent and most exciting brand in all of pickleball. The talented and passionate Mad Drops PC ownership group will further elevate our competition and athletes, which contributes to our goal of growing the game of pickleball into the world’s most exciting spectator sport.”

After a terrific kick off to the 2022 season with MLP’s first team competition in Austin in early June, MLP will bring its second team competition to Newport Beach, California from August 5th-7th and will offer the largest prize purse ($319,000) in the history of pickleball, with the winning team taking home $100,000.

“Pickleball is the fastest-growing and most accessible sport in America, and MLP has created a uniquely compelling team-based professional league that will continue to drive its growth,” said Zubin Mehta, Co-Founder and General Partner of Good Alpha Industries VC and General Manager of Mad Drops Pickleball Club. “We are excited to partner with a terrific group of strategic investors as owners of Mad Drops PC and look forward to supporting MLP’s mission to be the premier provider of pickleball content.”

You can read more about it all here.

Thomas Shields

Thomas Shields

Founder of The Dink & Upswing Sports. Host of PicklePod with Zane Navratil. Sometimes commentator and show host.