Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant and his business partner Rich Kleiman announced Thursday that Thirty Five Ventures (35V) has purchased Major League Pickleball’s newest expansion team.
In recent weeks Major League Pickleball has announced top athlete celebrities investing in the sport that became very popular during the Covid pandemic.
Durant joins a list of other athletes like NBA star and billionaire LeBron James and NFL stars Tom Brady and Drew Brees and tennis player Kim Clijsters, who also became team owners.
“35V is committed to investing in the future of sports and emerging opportunities, and Major League Pickleball is a league we are incredibly excited about,” said Kleiman. “We can’t wait to build this team from the ground up as well as work to elevate the sport and the league to unprecedented heights. As an avid pickleball player and fan, the interest in the sport was a natural fit.”
He said 35V is planning to handle everything from player relations, marketing, sponsorships and merchandise. It will also use its media network, The Boardroom.
As part of MLP’s expansion plans for next year, the league will add four teams to 16, double the number of its tournaments to six and offer $2 million in prize money.
Kleiman said If you can get in early, the economics are pretty good.
“Kevin Durant, Rich Kleiman, and 35V are going to be game-changing partners for Major League Pickleball,” said MLP Founder and CEO Steve Kuhn.