Natekar Sports & Gaming join forces with Sony Group Corporation to launch World Pickleball League

There's a multi-country licensing agreement of ten years with the All India Pickleball Association (AIPA), affiliated with the International Pickleball Federation (IPF)

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Delhi: Natekar Sports and Gaming (NSG), a company owned and promoted by former India Tennis star and Arjuna Awardee, Gaurav Natekar today announced the World Pickleball League, a global professional pickleball league. 

The league is backed by Sony Entertainment Talent Ventures India (SETVI), a joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment, an official cross-corporation for Sony Group in India. 

NSG will look to invest over $10 million over the next 3-5 years in India and the APAC countries. 

With a multi-country licensing agreement of ten years with the All India Pickleball Association (AIPA), affiliated with the International Pickleball Federation (IPF), the world pickleball league is a step towards the international expansion of pickleball, with plans to develop the sport bottom up, from grassroots to professional and competitive levels.

Natekar said, "With the launch of the World Pickleball League, our vision is to unite key stakeholders, ensuring its resounding success and leaving a lasting legacy for the sport. Through close collaboration with the All India Pickleball Federation, our vision is to cultivate the sport from the grassroots, leveraging the league as a springboard and platform to grow the game across the length and breadth of the country. With the game being played in over 80 countries, we want the league to serve as a catalyst for promoting pickleball and enticing more individuals to embrace the sport along with also offering a coveted platform for brands in India and overseas seeking opportunities in New Age sports investment that is being lapped internationally. By captivating the interest of this burgeoning generation of sports enthusiasts, we anticipate driving unprecedented growth for brands, consumers, and the public at large for Pickleball in India."

The All India Pickleball Association (AIPA) is the governing body of Pickleball in India, functioning as a nonprofit organization and providing support to other national and local pickleball organisations. 

Arvind Prabhoo, President, All India Pickleball Association (AIPA) and International Pickleball Federation ( IPF), said, “The All India Pickleball Association (AIPA) is dedicated to supporting the growth of the sport and by partnering with the first-ever professional pickleball league, we aim to create more opportunities for players and create a thriving community of pickleball enthusiasts. We believe this league will help cultivate future pickleball stars and drive the sport's development from the grassroots to the professional level,” said 

SETVI is an entertainment company dedicated to creating ventures for media talent in India. By offering technical support and strategic investment, SETVI will leverage its expertise to incorporate innovative technologies and increase the league's appeal.

Nachiket Pantvaidya, CEO of Sony Entertainment Talent Ventures India (SETVI) stated, “Sony Entertainment Talent Ventures India (SETVI) is committed to supporting innovative sports ventures. Our partnership with Natekar Sports & Gaming to launch the first-ever professional global pickleball league marks a significant step toward creating new opportunities in the sports industry. Through this league, we aim to fuel the growth of this new age sport and extend its reach among the global audience.

We are thrilled to embark on this journey, which not only advances pickleball but also promotes health, fitness, and inclusivity through sports.”

The inaugural global pickleball league will consist of six franchises, each featuring 6 to 8 players, comprising a mix of leading international players from all over the world and Indian talent. 

To encourage the growth of emerging players, each franchise will also have junior players who will practice, travel, and train alongside the professional players. 

Additionally, the league plans to work closely with franchise owners to conduct tournaments in the cities where their teams are based.