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SLAM ENCORE PICKLEBALL ON ESPN LANDS FOUR SPONSORS FOR 2024

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By Jacob Jackson

Pickleball Slam
John McEnroe and Andre Agassi (left) are back for another round, and this time they have Stefanie Graf and Maria Sharapova as their partners. They will play for a $1 million prize money.
PHOTO BY MANNY HERNANDEZ/GETTY IMAGES

In April, ESPN hit it big with the first Pickleball Slam event, so the Worldwide Leader will return with Slam 2 in February. 4 at the Hard Rock Live venue in the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

Four tennis legends, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Stefanie Graf, and Maria Sharapova, are back for the second round. They will team up and play for a $1 million prize money.

The original event was so well-liked that many sponsors are interested. The 2024 version will have Hard Rock, State Farm, Brighthouse Financial and Franklin Sports as the main sponsors.

On Wednesday, Horizon Sports & Experiences and InsideOut Sports + Entertainment announced the sponsorship lineup.

The court, benches, the ball and the non-volley zone near the net will have significant individual branding rights from all four sponsors.

McEnroe and Andy Roddick faced Agassi and Michael Chang in the original competition. The cash prize was won by the Agassi-Chang duo after a close doubles match.

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The same number of adults under 50, 237,000, watched that matchup and a Sunday NHL game on TNT. The Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues game tied with it as the fifth-most popular sport event of the day.

The Slam attracted more viewers compared to the whole week of programs from March 27 to April 2, than 13 MLB games, seven NBA games and five NHL games that were broadcast nationwide.

You can watch the 2024 event live at 8:30 p.m. ET, and each ticket costs $46.

Neal Gluckman, the sales head at Horizon Sports & Experiences, said: “Slam 2 has attracted a lot of interest after our first event was a huge success with a full house and a lot of buzz on social media. This is shown by the backing we have from our four amazing presenting partners.”

David Levy, who used to be the head of Turner Broadcasting for a long time, created the Pickleball Slam. He started Horizon Sports & Experiences in November 2022 with Chris Weil, the former CEO of Momentum Worldwide.

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Levy initiated The Match, a golf event that first featured Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in a one-on-one duel for the prize, and that still goes on with different players joining every time, when he was at Turner.

“Levy said that they applied the same idea with the top players of racket sports—McEnroe, Agassi, Roddick and Chang—and made them play the most popular sport in the US at the moment with famous brands, and he believed that they also had a winning combination there.”

PICKLEBALL SLAM 2024
TennisUpToDate.com

The newest Slam will introduce a fresh twist by bringing in two of the best female tennis players ever to join the game.

Slam 2 will showcase a doubles match with the pair of McEnroe and Sharapova, who have 12 Grand Slam singles trophies together, competing against the married couple of Agassi and Graf, who have a total of 30 Grand Slam singles crowns in their careers.

“Gluckman expressed his enthusiasm for resuming the court activities with these powerful partners who share his vision of a unique and effective way to connect with customers through his platform, both live and online.”

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