Padel: Passion before money

Unbeknownst to the general public recently, padel, this sport derived from tennis and squash popularized by our Iberian neighbors continues to gain popularity, but if it does not lack followers, Currently, very few elected officials can boast of being able to make a living from it, even to the elite.

The rising value of recent years

There are many ways to assess the success of a sport, such as the number of players, the number of clubs, or even, in this case, the number of rackets sold, and the fact is that the paddle is leaving. each of them. categories, both in France and abroad.

According to Padel Magazine, France had at the beginning of 2022 approximately 18,000 licensees, including 2,450 women. Actually, these are the players registered with the French Tennis Federation who have participated in at least one paddle tournament in the past 12 months, as you should know that currently, there is no paddle license. strictly speaking within France.

Moreover, although these numbers are encouraging, they remain lower than what is happening on the other side of the border. Since it will nearly reach the 100,000 mark of licensees by the end of 2021, an increase of 22% compared to 2020 (75,548 members), our Iberian neighbors are really fond of this sport, and moreover the international scene dominates along with the Argentinians. A desire that, moreover, does not seem to know any age limit, on the contrary.

In Spain, veterans (39 years or more) represent 54% of players, closely followed by seniors (24-39 years) who themselves make up 29.2% of the total. Figures against the current of what is being done in tennis, a sport that attracts the youngest.

Finally, one of the most impressive figures has to do with the number of rackets sold. If in 2002, 83,434 copies were passed around the world, in 2017 the bar of 400,000 was more than exceeded.

However, a coherent increase, as long as this sport which was essentially of interest to the two countries at the time, is now exported all over the world, both to America and to Asia, even passing through Africa. The WPT also organized a match against Egypt in 2019, with pyramids as a backdrop; an extraordinary setting for a sport with exceptional growth.

It should also be noted that if the paddle is exported well, it is certainly thanks to VIP ambassadors from other disciplines at its disposal, such as Jügen Klopp, Neymar or even Zidane, who did not hesitate to show the themselves. on social networks, racket in hand.

A major who should pay big

Other great developments have been on the side of competitions. If when we talk about a world sporting event in 2022 that will take place in Qatar, everyone will think of the football world cup, racket fans can rejoice, they are also entitled to their tournament: Padel Qatar Major.

Funded by QSI (the investment fund that owns PSG), this competition wants to mark the occasion financially, with a key, an endowment of € 525,000. A whole that is far from what we see in the world of tennis, but a clear development despite everything.

In the past, the best paddle players in the world have been linked to the World Padel Tour, which not only obliges its members to participate in all tournaments organized under penalty of fines, its value is between 300,000 and € 500,000, but the bonuses paid to athletes are relatively modest for a sport that is starting to take on such a scale.

Thus, the major interested parties decided, in October 2021, to create their own federation, the PPA, led by the current world number one Alejandro Galán, and participated in a legal battle in the hope of canceling their contract with WPT.

In 2021, the duo occupying the top of the world ranking, Alejandro Galán and Juan Lebrón, won € 113,595 in prize money (each). An amount that goes down quickly if you go down in the rankings, as world n ° 11 & 12, Juan Tello and Federico Chingotto won € 57,979 each, for Momo Gonzalez, although world n ° 16, not just € 33,477 he won, all of this, of course, not including sponsorship.

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