Youngman Padel

WPT Padel Courts


WPT Padel Courts

  • What Is Padel Tennis And Padel Courts in China ?
    What Is Padel Tennis And Padel Courts in China ? Mar 14, 2024
          In August 2023, the International Olympic Committee announced the candidate list of nine new events for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. When the domestic sports community regretted that Ultimate Frisbee was not included in the selection, the most regrettable thing in the entire Spanish-speaking and Latin-speaking regions should be the Tennis (Padel) is absent.   Padel tennis has been one of the most talked-about new sports in the world over the past few months. In addition to being included in the official competition events of the 2023 European Games, the world's top paddle tennis event has also received investment from Middle Eastern capital. The sub-station event is about to land in Africa. The International Padel Tennis Federation (FIP) is also actively promoting the project to enter the Asian Games. and the Commonwealth Games.   2022 is the year of the rise of niche sports in China. While Frisbee and Lu Chong have become the social currencies of young people in first-tier cities, padel tennis, which is popular overseas, is actually quietly growing in China. However, compared to the rapid popularity of other sports in various places, paddle tennis seems to be only popular in Shanghai. In addition, it can only be seen in a few cities such as Changsha and Chengdu. However, in first-tier cities such as Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, this movement is hard to find.   Today, when all popular elements are spreading rapidly, it is difficult to imagine that an imported sport would become such a "local characteristic" in China. Two "Shanghai Styles" Padel tennis was born out of tennis. On the intercontinental cruise ships in the early last century, aristocrats liked to play tennis on the ship, but were afraid of the ball falling into the sea, so they thought of building glass walls to surround the court, and paddle tennis took shape.   By 1969, the first Padel Court appeared in Acapulco, Mexico. The sport subsequently spread to Spain and quickly spread in Spanish-speaking and Latin-speaking countries around the world. FIP officials stated that there are currently more than 25 million padel fans around the world, and the number of participants in this sport has doubled in the past five years.   In terms of rules, Padel is similar to a hybrid of tennis and squash - players can either follow the tennis rules and hit the ball before it hits the ground twice, or they can wait for the ball to bounce off the tempered glass on the sidelines and continue hitting. In addition, the paddle tennis court is 20 meters long and 10 meters wide, which is less than one-third of the area of a standard tennis court, and they are all used for doubles; the racket also adds foam cotton on the basis of carbon fiber, and its elasticity is relatively weakened.   Due to these rule settings, paddle tennis requires less strength and running than tennis, and focuses more on agility. And for people with a basic knowledge of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, similar swing movements also make paddle tennis a novice-friendly sport. Of course, in order to become popular in the current communication environment dominated by social media, new sports also need social functions, trendy attributes and "filmmaking" effects. Paddle tennis obviously doesn't lack these items.   In 2016, padel tennis was officially introduced into the country. Two years later, the Chinese paddle tennis tour sponsored by the Chinese Tennis Association was born. However, it was not until this year that the project accelerated its development in the country. The person in charge of marketing of the Shanghai Padel Tennis Club told reporters that the club was established in 2018, but before this year, the players of this sport were mainly foreigners living in Shanghai, accounting for 70%; and since the end of the epidemic in Shanghai in June this year , the proportion of domestic players has increased rapidly, and now accounts for nearly 60% of foreign users.   Now, a search for “padel tennis” on Meituan-Dianping shows that there are nearly 15 Padel Courts in Shanghai, belonging to about 8 different operators. But at the same time, a search for Padel Court in Beijing on the same platform showed zero. On Xiaohongshu, notes on paddle tennis are almost exclusively limited to Shanghai. Padel tennis, which originated at sea, seemed to be trapped in Shanghai after arriving in China.   Who dares to invest in building and Install a Padel Court ?   Of course, there are also a few practitioners who have brought paddle tennis to other cities, such as Changsha and Chengdu. The 2010 Padel Club is located in Changsha. Its venue was established in 2018. It was initially mainly used for public welfare promotion of the project with the support of the local Sports Bureau. It also hosted the 2018 China Padel Tennis Tour Finals. At the beginning of this year, the venue began commercial operations.   Compared with other emerging sports, the venue is the key factor affecting the promotion of padel tennis. Unlike Frisbee, which can use a football field, and land rush, which can directly use flat ground, paddle tennis must be played on a standard field of a specific size and equipped with tempered glass. This also requires the construction of a field from the beginning for the promotion of this sport. This is obviously An asset-heavy operating method.   The population characteristics and business environment in different places are the main considerations in choosing cities for promotion. In Shanghai, padel tennis itself has a certain amount of foreign user base, while other cities often need to start from scratch and promote it step by step. Changsha and Chengdu are both cities with young and inclusive consumer groups, and land prices are relatively low. Coupled with the support of local governments, the experiment of padel can be continued.   Of course, in addition to venues and clubs specializing in padel, there are also a large number of sports communities that regard paddle tennis as a new "content", and they also play a role in spreading the project. But for these communities, the core asset is people, which can carry social and trendy sports.   Abroad, this is already a sport with clear competitive rules, promotion channels, and event business systems, and is attracting an influx of more and more capital. Once Padel Sports enters the Asian Games or Olympic Games, it goes without saying that the resources of the sports management department will be tilted, and the relevant business system can also immediately include the Chinese market.   being targeted There is no doubt that paddle tennis has huge potential in the global market. Nadal and Beckham frequently posted photos of themselves playing Padel tennis. Liverpool Football Club has incorporated paddle tennis into its team training program. Murray invested US$1.7 million in Game4Padel. Zlatan Ibrahimovic even built his own paddle tennis facility in Sweden. site. The celebrity effect spreads the influence of the project quickly. The International Padel Federation (FIP) stated that in countries such as Spain, paddle tennis has become the second most popular sport after football. However, the excitement of paddle tennis today is not only about the sport itself, but also about the undercurrent of power struggles.   In the past, the World Padel Tour (WPT) has always been the most influential padel tennis event in the world. Chinese athlete Zhang Bohou, who switched from tennis to sports, also competed in the WPT and was known as the "No. 1 padel player in China. " However, the landscape of this emerging project is also undergoing drastic changes.   In fact, although the WPT has long had the best athletes, this event is actually operated by the Spanish beer brand Estrella Damm and is not directly supervised by the FIP. As padel tennis becomes more popular around the world, Middle Eastern capital has decided to grab the cake.   In February this year, FIP received investment from Qatar Sports Investment (QSI) and announced the establishment of a new Premier Padel event directly supervised by FIP. Starting from this year, this new event will have 10 padel tournaments every year, with a prize pool of 525,000 euros per stop, and the total annual prize money is about 80% higher than the WPT.   Such a move is obviously robbing people. Sports Pro Media reported that most top players have contracts with the WPT until 2023 and are therefore temporarily unable to participate in the Premier Padel. However, the FIP and the Padel Tennis Professionals Association have filed a lawsuit against the WPT to the European Commission, accusing the other party of signing "illegal exclusives" with players. "The FIP has made no secret that they want the Premier Padel to replace the WPT as the sport's number one event." In May, the WPT also sued the other party for "attempting to exclude it from the market and deviating from its role as a fair player." The role of nonprofit regulators.”   To put it simply, the international governing body of paddle tennis, after seeing the huge commercial value of this sport, decided to kick away the "tradition" of the past and completely stand on its own. The press release announcing the establishment of the event on the FIP official website even used the ironic title: A BRIGHT & BRILLIANT NEW DAWN FOR PADEL, "A bright and brilliant new dawn for padel tennis has come."   However, the battle is not over yet. Within a few months, Premier Padel signed copyright agreements with media platforms such as ESPN, Sky, BeIN Sports, Canal+, RTVE, etc., and WPT also reached cooperation with BT Sport and Mediapro. There is no result yet on which side will win, but what is certain is that the participation of many media giants will bring unimaginable commercial value to paddle tennis.   It is not difficult to see that the direct cause of this conflict is the entry of Qatar Sports Investment Authority, which is also the current owner of Paris Saint-Germain Football Club. It is nothing new for Middle East sovereign funds to invest in sports. The conflict caused by the Qataris this time is exactly the same as the previous investment by the Saudis in golf. (Extended reading: Saudi funds have invested billions of dollars, and the golf version of the "European Super League" is about to come true.) What is a little surprising is that Middle Eastern capital has already set its sights on the emerging sport of padel tennis.      
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