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It’s official: Pickleball is now a “BLIMPWORTHY” sport

For the first time ever, the Goodyear Blimp is set to appear overhead at a Professional Pickleball Association (PPA Tour) tournament

PPA Tour and Goodyear celebrate with first-ever Pickleball match in a blimp

SAN CLEMENTE, California, Nov. 30, 2023 – For more than 65 years, the Goodyear Blimp’s presence at a sporting event has signaled the magnitude of the game as it’s known for only showing up to the greatest matchups.

On Sunday, Dec. 3, the Goodyear Blimp is scheduled to enter the airspace above the Life Time Rancho athletic resort in San Clemente, California, where the best Professional Pickleball Association (PPA Tour) players will compete in the CIBC PPA Tour Finals. This will mark the first time the Goodyear Blimp will provide aerial coverage for a professional Pickleball tournament and officially designate the sport and the PPA Tour as “Blimpworthy.”

To commemorate this moment for the sport, PPA Tour athletes Anna Leigh Waters, Catherine Parenteau and Jay Devilliers joined Goodyear Blimp pilots on Wednesday for a flight on the blimp to play the world’s smallest Pickleball match in the sky, as well as a pop-up Pickleball match at Goodyear’s airship base in Carson, California with the blimp looking on.

With an average growth rate of 158.6% over the last three years, Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America with more than 36.5 million players. The Carvana PPA Tour is the pro tour of Pickleball, where the sport’s top athletes go head-to-head to determine the best male and female players in the world.

“The Goodyear Blimp’s appearance at the CIBC PPA Tour Finals, the culmination of a thrilling season, is a symbol that Pickleball is officially entering the ranks of other professional sports – that we have arrived,” said Connor Pardoe, Founder and CEO of the PPA Tour. “We are thrilled to celebrate in this exciting moment for the sport as a whole and the PPA Tour this weekend with players and fans alike.”

Since 1955, the Goodyear Blimp has been providing stunning aerial views of stadiums across the country, revolutionizing the way fans experience sporting events. To date, the blimp has provided aerial coverage for more than 2,000 sports and entertainment events.

“We have a saying: if it’s a big event, the Goodyear Blimp is there,” said Chris Kostiuk, director, Goodyear Airship Operations.

“The Goodyear Blimp’s appearance at the final PPA tournament of the year is a fitting tribute to the sport’s growing popularity,” he added.

During the on-ground and in-air matches, both pilots and players donned a special line of Pickleball shoes designed by Skechers, the official shoe and sponsor of the PPA Tour. A natural complement to this collaboration, Skechers’ Pickleball shoes are designed with non-marking outsoles made with Goodyear Gold rubber technology. Built for increased durability and enhanced traction, the inclusion of Goodyear rubber allows the elite player to perform controlled slides on Pickleball court surfaces. In a nod to this unique collaboration among the three brands, Skechers is offering fans nationwide a chance to obtain a special offer announced during Sunday’s CIBC PPA Finals tournament broadcast.

Weather permitting, aerial coverage provided by the Goodyear Blimp for Sunday’s matches can be viewed on FS1 beginning at 3 p.m. PST.

For more information on the blimp’s whereabouts, visit GoodyearBlimp.com.

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