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Naples ClassicIn a sensational blend of sport and philanthropy, Naples, Florida, is gearing up for the First Annual Mixed Doubles Classic Tournament. Scheduled for January 6 – 7, 2024, at the picturesque Veteran’s Park, this event marks a significant milestone in the rapidly growing world of pickleball.

The tournament, a collaborative brainchild of PB1965, a trendsetting pickleball apparel brand, and Eva Welsher, globally acclaimed as the top Women’s Double senior professional player, promises an electrifying start to the New Year. This event is not just a showcase of athleticism but a cultural festivity, offering free public access to witness the gripping matches and the vibrant Vendor Village.

Vendor Village is an innovative concept, a microcosm where paddle and sportswear companies, along with jewellers and gourmet food vendors, converge. It’s a place where sports enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the latest trends and products.

The spirit of the tournament transcends the boundaries of sport, as the proceeds are dedicated to the Naples Humane Society, reinforcing the community’s commitment to philanthropy.

Eva Welsher, in her exclusive statement, expressed her enthusiasm: “This tournament is more than a competition; it’s a celebration of sport and community. We’re uniting players globally to mark a new chapter in pickleball history and support a noble cause.”

The tournament’s structure is ingeniously designed, catering to a broad spectrum of players, with divisions ranging from amateur 3.0 to the professional echelons. This inclusivity highlights the sport’s growing appeal across various skill levels and ages.

Registration, which closes on January 3, 2024, has been set at $65, offering participants not just entry but also a signature PB1965 performance hat, emblematic of the sport’s stylish aspect. Aspiring participants can register online at the official Pickleball Den website.

The event boasts an impressive roster of sponsors, including Tyrol, Kilwins, New Balance, and several others, reflecting the sport’s growing commercial appeal and the business community’s investment in its growth.

For more details, PB1965 encourages interested parties to reach out via email, ensuring comprehensive information dissemination.

The background of this event is rooted in pickleball’s astronomical rise in popularity. A study by the Association of Pickleball Professionals highlighted a staggering 36.5 million participants in the last year alone. This rapid growth, coupled with an increasing number of dedicated venues, underlines pickleball’s status as America’s fastest-growing sport, as reported by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.

The demographic data reveals an interesting trend: a significant youth infusion into the sport, with 18-34-year-olds comprising the largest player group. This demographic shift indicates the sport’s evolving dynamics and its appeal to a younger, vibrant audience.

As Naples prepares to host this landmark event, it stands at the convergence of sports, community, and charity. The First Annual Mixed Doubles Classic Tournament is not just a sporting event; it’s a testament to the sport’s burgeoning appeal and its power to unite people for a shared cause.




Written by: Jason Smith