Padel Sport: The Fastest-Growing Sport In The World

Padel is a mix of tennis and squash. It’s said to be the fastest-growing sport in the world. 

Is it true? And how is padel growing so quickly? 

Is padel the fastest-growing sport in the world?

First of all, we have to clarify what we mean by the fastest-growing sport in the world.

If we mean the fastest-growing sport by viewers – Basketball, MMA, Cricket, and Rugby are all killing padel.

If we mean the fastest-growing sport by participation – Padel stands a chance to win. 

This angel is what we’re looking at in this article.

First of all, to be the fastest-growing sport in the world you have to start from a small number of players and then grow it. The rate of increase is what makes it the fastest-growing sport.

In the last years, padel has grown rapidly and is now played by over 20 million players worldwide. That makes padel a really small sport by participation number compared to the world’s biggest sport – soccer. According to FIFA, there are 265 million people who play soccer, which equates to 4% of the world’s population.

Since padel started from relatively small numbers quite recently, it’s a great bet.

Spain and Argentine are the biggest padel nations in the world.

Spain has over 11,500 courts and Argentina more than 8,000.

Other countries are also growing, and it’s happening fast. 

For example, in 2012, there were 100 padel courts in Europe (excluding Spain.) Jump forward to 2017, and that number is over 2000 padel courts and doubling every year.

Outside of Europe, the sport is also growing.

India is a huge market, and several clubs are building courts in the country. If padel takes off on big markets like India, it will grow even faster than today.

It’s hard to tell exactly how many padel players there are in the world, but global sales of padel rackets are a good indicator of the growth. In 2002 83,000 padel rackets were sold, and the same number in 2017 is 409,000. 

Padel is growing extremely fast in especially Portugal, France, Italy, Sweden, and Belgium. New courts are popping up each week.

Tennis federations are one reason why padel can grow so fast. As soon as tennis federations took over in Italy and France, they went from 50-60 courts to between 500 and 1000 courts, almost overnight.

Especially since 2010, padel has continuously been growing and blossoming all over the world, and it is now for many people considered the fastest-growing sport around the world.

History of padel

It all started with a Mexican billionaire in Acapulco. Enrique Corcuera didn’t have enough space to put in a tennis court, so he came up with a new sport that through innovation, developed to what we today call padel. 

In 1969 Enrique Corcuera divided the court into two equal sides with a net. Because of the smaller playing field, he decided to play with rackets that were smaller than traditional tennis rackets.

In the beginning, the Mexican elite played the sport. Later on, padel spread through Enrique Corcueras, rich friends to Marbella in Spain, and then also to Argentina.

The first World Championships were organized in 1992 in Seville, Spain, with delegations from 11 different countries from Europe and America participating. 

Padel today

Padel is called the fastest-growing sport in the world, and World Padel Tour is gaining more traction each year. It has already become Spain’s second-most-popular sport.

Public padel courts are available in 57 countries. Throughout 2018, a quarter-million witnessed the best padel in the world, signaling an increase of 15% with regards to 2017. The Master Final 2018 had almost 25,000 live spectators, which is the highest number ever at a padel tournament.

The 190 WPT matches broadcasted generated over 23 million views on the Youtube channel. An increase of 42% compared to 2017.

Future

Padel is flourishing worldwide, especially in countries with tennis traditions.

Player gets bigger sponsorship deals every year and the World Padel Tour will continue to spread the sport worldwide.

Big companies are investing in padel, and you can expect the sport to continue to grow. 

Padel is already the second biggest sport in Spain. When will the same thing happen in other countries?

Conclusion

Since 2010 the sport has been continuously growing and blossoming all over the world. Padel is now for many people considered the fastest-growing sport around the world.