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The Kitchen Connecting the Hearts of Pickleball Community

The Kitchen Connecting the Hearts of Pickleball: Social media plays a crucial role in today’s world across all areas, and pickleball is no exception. In the world of pickleball content creation, there’s a noticeable trend: a heavy focus on the professional game. Writers and content creators, often zero in on major pro events, crafting recap articles and analysis pieces. Yet  there is an interesting pattern is observed—non-pro stories consistently outperform pro recaps and content by significant margins, often by a factor of ten.

The could be that the vast majority of players aren’t familiar with the professional scene. According to Tom Webb, Chief Marketing Officer of the APP, 97% of the nearly 50 million adult Americans who played pickleball in the past year couldn’t name a single pro player.

The 97% Focus

Catering to the other 97% of players, The pickleball media landscape is bustling with outlets covering ‘big pickle’ news, dominated by professional players and major events. Yet, one brand stands out by focusing on the broader community rather than the pro game: The Kitchen.

Founded by Jared Paul, Dane Iliff, and Jason Aspes (now President of UPA-A), The Kitchen was born from a simple vision: to create a space for pickleball players to connect and share experiences. What started as a Facebook group for Austin-based players has grown into the largest and most engaged pickleball community globally, with nearly 1,500 new followers daily and a combined audience of over one million across various platforms.

 “Pickleball IS community. That’s what our business model is: to grow through community. We’re not selling a paddle or trying to own the pro tour. We’re not here to leak news, we’re not controversial, we’re not pursuing negativity and drama for clicks. We see ourselves as the heart of pickleball.” – (Jared Paul)

The Power of Community

The Kitchen’s approach is straightforward: grow through community. As Paul explains, “Pickleball IS community.” This ethos has driven The Kitchen’s grassroots growth, achieving significant milestones like 500,000 Instagram subscribers with minimal marketing spend.

Their content, which includes celebrity collaborations with the likes of Jamie Foxx, Rob Gronkowski, and Richard Branson, aims to blend culture with pickleball. While pro highlights still feature, it’s the non-pro content—trick shots, funny memes, and youth games—that garners the most engagement. Paul’s biggest pro highlight reached nearly 90 million views, but non-pro content resonates more broadly.

“When I post non-pro stuff, like 12-yr old kids playing or trick shots or a funny meme about the sport, it gets a much broader view.”- (Jared Paul)

The rise of pickleball coincides with a societal need for connection, exacerbated by social media, remote work, and the decline of traditional institutions. The Covid-19 pandemic further isolated people, creating a hunger for community. Pickleball offered a solution, providing a social sport accessible to all ages, where players rotate on and off the court, allowing for interaction.

Unlike other popular sports that become impractical post-education, pickleball is a lifetime sport. As Paul notes, “Pickleball is a sport for a lifetime. It transcends just being a sport … for many it becomes a lifestyle or a religion. It becomes their tight-knit community. Pickleball has literally saved lives.”

Pickleball quickly became a haven for those who lookin for community, one that wasn’t based on political views, religious beliefs, or financial status. Instead, it revolved around a unique and widely appealing sport that anyone from ages 8 to 80 could enjoy. The game is typically played in larger groups, with players rotating in and out, providing ample opportunities to socialize and connect between matches.

The Kitchen’s Role

The Kitchen plays a crucial role in nurturing this community. The Kitchen crafts engaging and dynamic content tailored for the broader pickleball community. Their approach blends cultural elements with the sport, frequently featuring collaborations with celebrities and athletes. By focusing on the broader player base and creating engaging, relatable content, The Kitchen has become a central hub for pickleball enthusiasts. It’s more than just social media; it’s about interaction, connection, and community-building. In a world increasingly disconnected, The Kitchen helps bring people together, one pickleball game at a time.

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News in Brief: The Kitchen Connecting the Hearts of Pickleball

In the pickleball content creation landscape, there’s a heavy focus on professional games, but non-pro stories often perform better. Most players are unfamiliar with the pro scene; 97% of the nearly 50 million American players can’t name a single pro. Catering to these players, The Kitchen, founded by Jared Paul, Dane Iliff, and Jason Aspes, emphasizes community over pro coverage. They create engaging, culturally blended content, featuring celebrities like Jamie Foxx and Rob Gronkowski. The Kitchen fosters a broad, interactive community, providing a social hub for pickleball enthusiasts and connecting people through their shared love for the sport.

Also read: Debate on Pickleball’s Financial Transparency in Twitter



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