by Pickleball Superstore July 13, 2023
Pickleball isn’t just a fun game. For many players, pickleball is an occupation -- and an extremely profitable one at that. It’s well known that pro pickleball players make good money, but how much do they actually make?
This article provides some insight into how much money professional pickleball players make. Aside from offering a general estimate of their earnings, we explain all of the various revenue streams that help pickleball pros make a living.
While some enthusiastic players take pickleball to the next level, it isn’t just passion that drives them. Many professional pickleball players can make a living by taking their performance to the next level and winning competitions.
Pickleball doesn’t pay much money directly -- the direct wages of pickleball players tend to range between $45,000 and $60,000. The pickleball pros who earn a lot of money get the majority of their income from sponsorships and endorsements.
The revenue from pickleball comes from a few sources. Pickleball tournaments provide a good amount of money, as players can earn as little as $300 or as much as $2500 after placing highly in many tournaments. Sponsorships often account for a considerable portion of income.
The top-earning pickleball players often use additional income sources. Many proficient pickleball players offer pickleball coaching or make media appearances to earn extra funds, but the sky's the limit for particularly savvy pickleball experts.
Tournament winnings make up a significant part of the income of many professional pickleball players. Over 150 tournaments allow pickleball players to compete in the United States alone, so there are a lot of potential places to win games and make a living.
Unfortunately, pickleball tournament winnings aren’t a substantial source of income. While the pickleball tournaments have huge prize pools, professional players often end up walking away with as much as $2500 or as little as $300 after a pickleball tournament.
There’s a lot of money to be made while playing pickleball for skilled professional players, but it isn’t as high as some other sports. Professional tennis players of a similar caliber to the best pickleball players can earn millions from sponsorships and winnings.
That’s not to say that there’s no profit in pickleball. Many pickleball professionals make a great living by combining revenue sources like tournaments, sponsorships, and even activities like pickleball coaching or working with media.
One of the most significant ways pickleball players and other professional athletes make money is through sponsorships and endorsements. When a professional player becomes particularly prolific and skilled, many companies are willing to support their career in exchange for product promotion.
It’s very common for companies to provide sponsorships or endorsement deals. For example, companies like FILA and Adidas frequently sponsor pickleball players. The only unfortunate aspect is that most big companies only offer sponsorships and endorsement deals to the best pickleball players, so getting recognized can take a while.
Many skilled pickleball players make money by providing coaching and instruction. It’s not uncommon for new players to want to get better at pickleball with some guidance, and the best professionals have something few others do: expertise.
These professional coaches make money in a variety of ways. Some provide in-person coaching, while others produce online resources. Some will work with players one-on-one, while others offer classes. All are capable of making a great living.
One unexpected way that professional pickleball players earn money is that they can earn money through media deals. Many of the best pickleball players can make thousands of dollars through media appearances -- typically when they’re working to provide exposure for their sponsor.
Other pickleball players carve out their own path by starting a website or YouTube Channel. Rather than relying on the media to pick them up, these players make a living by providing vital resources directly to viewers worldwide. In many cases, these players can get sponsorships as a result of their channel.
For particularly savvy pickleball players, the sky's the limit regarding how many ways they can make money. Many pickleball pros make good money by pursuing unique forms of entrepreneurship.
Some pickleball pro players have found success selling merchandise and equipment. For example, Kyle Yates makes significant money selling quality pickleball sportswear through PB1965.
Others have taken coaching to the next level by founding pickleball academies. Sarah Ansboury founded the Ansboury Academy to provide quality lessons to players in real life and through the internet -- and she makes great income while doing so.
These two pickleball pros have in common that they took their experiences from playing pickleball and identified unmet needs within the community. Yates recognized that many players would appreciate better sportswear, while Ansboury realized that many pickleball novices needed extra help.
It can be intimidating to consider making a living by playing pickleball. But with the proper dedication to the sport, anything is possible. Knowing how a pro pickleball player makes money is a great first step if you want to find a way to live the dream yourself.
The average salary for a professional pickleball player depends. Many players earn between $45,000 and $60,000, but salaries vary widely. Some of the best pickleball players have been reported to earn three-figure salaries. Many players can raise their incomes by pursuing sponsorships and alternative income sources.
Pickleball players must typically qualify for professional tournaments by becoming prolific in lower tournaments. Many low-level tournaments provide the opportunity to earn recognition and gradually ‘rank up.’ With enough success, the top players in low-level tournaments can eventually move on to the professional leagues.
Amateur players can earn money through pickleball. Just as professional tournaments have prize money, many low-level tournaments offer a bit of cash to the winners, too.
With that being noted, it’s typically much more difficult for low-level pickleball players to make a living through tournament winnings -- and sponsorship opportunities at this level aren’t particularly common (but they can happen!).