North America has seen the most rapid growth for pickleball as an activity in recent years. There are so many well-known professional pickleball players in the United States, such as Ben John’s and Tyson McGuffin that amateurs see them like celebrities in the sport.
But have you ever thought: how much pro pickleball players make?
Well, that’s what we’ll be discussing in this post. Here, we’ll take a closer look at how pro pickleball players earn. Additionally, we have compiled a prize money table and the net worth of professional pickleball players to give you an idea of how profitable (or unprofitable) playing pickleball professionally can be.
Sounds fascinating, right? Let’s begin then.
- 1 How Much Do Pro Pickleball Players Make?
- 2 Income Sources for Pickleball Pros
- 3 Prize Money of Some Major Tournaments
- 4 Net Worth and Earnings of Some Pickleball Pros
- 5 Cost of Playing Pickleball Professionally
- 6 Can you Make a Living Playing Pickleball?
How Much Do Pro Pickleball Players Make?
To give a ballpark range, professional pickleball players make between $20,000 and $250,000 per year. The major part of this income comes from gear sponsorships, as they are usually higher than the tournament prizes.
But pickleball players’ earnings, like those of athletes in other sports, aren’t predictable since they are highly dependent on various variables, which we’ll examine in more detail later in this post.
Income Sources for Pickleball Pros
As discussed earlier, professional pickleball players generate money in various ways. So, let’s shed some light on each of the income sources of professional pickleball players.
1. Prize Money
It’s obvious that prize money is one of the income sources for pro pickleball players, but it’s not the largest contributor.
A lack of sponsors is why professional pickleball players are forced to hunt for alternative sources of income and not depend only on tournament prize funds.
In 2022, the USA National Championship will have a total prize pool of100,000$. But the pro gold medals for singles will receive only $3500, while the pro doubles’ prize money for winners will be $10,000.
Remember: Total prize money is not what a winning player takes at their home; instead, the total 100,000$ prize pool is divided among all players according to their categories.
One of the most well-known and lucrative sources by which athletes generate a significant portion of their money is sponsorships. Since pickleball is gaining in popularity, more companies are beginning to show an interest in the sport by endorsing top players like Ben Johns.
The FILA recently signed the sponsorship agreement with the leading professional pickleball player Lucy Kovalova. Similarly, paddle brands like Selkirk and Paddletek sponsor a lot of pros.
It’s essential to keep in mind that prestigious companies like Selkirk Sports and FILA exclusively sponsor top-level athletes. As a result, persistence is required until you are approached directly by these big sports brands to promote their products.
Thanks to the rapid growth and commercialization, other companies (except the ones directly related to pickleball) are also investing money. For example, Hyundai and Fox Sports have signed a contract with PPA. In future, we might these giant brands sponsoring the individual players too.
Professional pickleball players also provide coaching. They run a pickleball camps where amateurs improve their games each month, especially during the holidays.
By hosting camps and clinics in various cities, pickleball players generate a good amount of money, but it requires far more work and time. Usually, pickleball players provide training for 20-40 hours a week, depending on their rates and other engagements.
YouTube and blogs are other methods professional pickleball players use to supplement their income.For example, Sarah Ansboury has a popular YouTube channel and a blog.
Instead of teaching a few players in a camp, pros can teach all the 4.8 million players through their videos or blogs.
As a result, professional pickleball players may use YouTube/Blogs to educate newcomers and make money via ads and brand endorsements in their content.
Prize Money of Some Major Tournaments
If you want to become a professional pickleball player, you might be interested in knowing how much money can you earn from prize money.
The table below shows the prize money of various pro tournaments. Again, this is the total pool and not the prize for individual players.
Pro Pickleball Association (PPA)
|Orange Country Cup||$65,000|
|Pro Players Cup||$38,250|
Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP)
|So Cal Classic||$35,000|
|USA National Pickleball Championship||$100,000|
|USA National Pickleball Indoor Championship||$25,000|
|Rocky Mountain Championships||$50,000|
Net Worth and Earnings of Some Pickleball Pros
Knowing the net worth of the pro pickleball players can be motivating for newcomers and aspiring pros.
Let’s look at some of the top pickleball players’ net worth, ranking points, and earnings.
|Name||Ranking Points||Total Prize Money||Net Worth|
|Ben Johns||18200||$146,325||4 Million $|
Cost of Playing Pickleball Professionally
The cost of playing pickleball depends on various factors and can range between $50 to $1000 or even more. It depends on your budget and how much are you willing to spend. There are four heads in which we can divide the cost of playing pickleball.
- Playing Essentials Cost
- Pickleball Court Cost
- Tournaments Fees and Costs
- Miscellaneous Cost
1. Playing Essentials Cost
If you are a newbie or an intermediate looking to enhance your skills, you would probably need the right pickle paddle for you. We have written an article on how to choose the right pickleball paddle.
A good paddle costs at least $100. Besides paddles, you will also need to buy ball and shoes, according to your budget.
2. Pickleball Court Cost
You can get pickleball court on per hour rent or play on recreationa center courts which requires a monthly fees. Either way, courts costs are not much and you should get at $15 per hour or even lower. The price depends on the city and day as well.
3. Tournament Fees and Costs
If you’re playing professionally, tournaments fees combined with the cost of travelling and lodging will surely be the biggest expense. Again, it varies depending on the tournamets you’re participating in and its location. Competing in a local tournament of 3.0 players won’t cost a fortune.
But for a single professional tournament, you would need to spend at least around $1000. This includes all the fees, travelling, hotel, and miscellaneous costs. And if you don’t win, it’s better not to expect any returns.
4. Miscellaneous Costs
Accessories such as towels, bands, fitness trackers, etc. are also needed, depending on your requirement and budget.If you are a beginner, you can skip it because it is not essential.
Can you Make a Living Playing Pickleball?
Yes, you can surely make a living playing pickleball. But currently, only a handful of professional players live off sponsorships and tournaments prizes. Mostly still conduct camps and trainings, investing a lot of their time. Although with the popularization and commercialization of sport, things are improving. And chances of making a living off pickleball are higher than ever before.
If you want to make a living while playing pickleball, you have to keep in mind that it requires complete dedication and patience. But as soon you start winning in the tournaments and get a lucrative sponsorship, you can quit your frustrating day job.