The Hard Seltzer Brand That Is Now Exclusive To Professional Pickleball

Drinking an alcoholic beverage while playing pickleball is not a great idea. Drinking one after playing or as a spectator? Well, that's encouraged, especially by the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA). In fact, Molson Coors Beverage Company has announced a partnership with the PPA. The beverage company's agreement means it will provide hard seltzer, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages to fans of the PPA Tour, which began this week in Las Vegas.

Pickleball — the fastest growing sport in the country — is a cross between tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, according to USA Pickleball, the national governing body for the sport. From Washington state, where the sport began in 1965, to Minnesota to Florida, pickleball is popular among all ages. It even has the attention of basketball legend LeBron James, who plans to buy a professional pickleball team (per MarketWatch).

In 2021, there were 4.8 million recreational pickleball players in the United States. The rate of growth in the last two years is 39.3%, says the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA). The majority of core players — those who play more than eight times a year — are 55 and older (per SFIA). It appeals to older players because it's low impact and easy to learn. However, the largest number (33.5%) of casual players — defined as those who play less than eight times a year — are 18 to 34 years old, according to USA Pickleball. That's just the demographic the hard seltzer brand likely hopes to attract.

Fastest growing sport

Maybe the association missed BrüMate and Crook & Marker's limited edition seltzer called Afternoon Dillight, a pickle-flavored hard seltzer that may have been an obviously appropriate flavor. Instead, the PPA Tour's chosen hard seltzer brand is Vizzy, Molson Coors' spiked seltzer (per PR Newswire). Vizzy's flavors, including pomegranate orange mimosa and passionfruit watermelon, sound refreshing whether you are sitting in the bleachers or in your living room.

Hard seltzer and pickleball are similar in that they are popular among both men and women and the average age is 38.1, according to The Pickleball Player. The best professional players competing in the tour include Ben Johns, 23; Simone Bardim, 42; and Zane Navratil, 26 (via The Pickleball Source).

Pickleball started on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Washington in 1965, when three dads — Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum — were trying to entertain their children during the summer. There are a few theories as to where the name came from, but a favorite — whether true or not — is that the game was named for Pritchard's dog, Pickles, who liked to run after the ball (per CBS News). 

The combination of pickleball and Vizzy can, "bring people together whether they're competing on-court or cheering from the sidelines," Connor Pardoe, Commissioner and CEO of the PPA Tour, said in a press release. For those competing on the court, the PPA is also offering Molson Coors' non-alcoholic drinks, including ZOA Energy and ZenWTR alkaline water.