It was March 14th, 2020. I was on a jet on the way home from the just cancelled USAPA Mid South Regional pickleball tournament. Not to sound too dramatic, but it was the day that pickleball died. Well at least it went on life support. Tournament directors began cancelling tournaments right and left, followed soon by that painful sound of chains and padlocks being put on public courts all across the USA.
Yes, there were private courts that were able to keep the pulse alive, but for all intents and purposes, the sport of pickleball ceased almost overnight. And with it came the demise of many small pickleball businesses and pickleball entrepreneurs who simply couldn’t find enough business to keep their pickleball dreams alive.
For over 10 years, players have bought and supported our Pickleball Rocks family’s brand of clothing and apparel. You made Pickleball Rocks the best selling and most recognized pickleball apparel brand in the country by far, and for that we are eternally grateful.
But yes, the COVID19 pandemic has taken its toll on our business too. The shutdown of pickleball meant we could no longer be a vendor at the 35-40 yearly tournaments on our schedule. And more impactful was the fact that with people being shut in, they quit shopping online for pickleball apparel and paddles. Their focus understandably went to buying toilet paper, hand sanitizer and other essentials for survival.
So in the words of Albert Einstein, “in the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.”
For us, the virus forced us to hunker down in the office and while we have been locked down, we have been working harder than ever before. The result is a brand new line of apparel that we are extremely excited about. It will include both adult apparel and a full line of kids shirts and shorts. We know there are still very few tournaments and we know your focus may be on anything else but pickleball clothing, but we hope you will like what we’ve been up to and help us by telling your friends.
The new apparel brand is called Unstoppable Pickleball and the reason for the name is simple. We believe that you, through your tireless efforts to grow pickleball, have made the sport simply UNSTOPPABLE.
The story behind the new brand name is all about you, Pickleball Nation.
And as pickleball comes back to life, whether it’s a Pickleball Rocks purchase or a new Unstoppable Pickleball purchase or simply helping us share the new brand with your family and friends, our sincerest thanks.
Because as everyone knows, it is because of you that Pickleball Rocks!