Major League Pickleball announces St. Louis Shock, Orlando Squeeze
MLP by Margaritaville (MLP) announced two new teams for the 2023 season with the St. Louis Shock and Orlando Squeeze. The Shock ownership group is led by renowned business leader and philanthropist, Richard Chaifetz, with his son, Ross Chaifetz actively involved in team management. Sports executive and philanthropist, Ryan DeVos, will be among the new owners leading the Orlando Squeeze.
The Chaifetz and DeVos families have operated some of the most successful enterprises in the US and continue MLP’s mission of bringing expertise across industries into their ownership groups. The St. Louis Shock will start their season in the Premier Level while the Orlando Squeeze will start in the Challenger Level.
In addition to the new ownership groups, MLP has also announced four new corporate sponsors: Cirkul, Hospital for Special Surgery, Fromuth Pickleball, and Pickleball United. MLP now has 11 total sponsors for the 2023 season with each company having a presence at all MLP events, including signage and product displays, as well as opportunities for fan engagement and experiential activations.
“We are pleased to announce the expansion of MLP’s footprint with the formation of the St. Louis and Orlando teams, and are grateful for the support of our new corporate sponsors,” said Brian Levine, Interim CEO of Major League Pickleball. “Establishing these partnerships ahead of the upcoming transformative season will be instrumental in our continued efforts to grow the sport and provide a world class live experience for fans. We’re also so excited for the tournament to reach more fans with every single match streamed live and the Premier Level semifinals and finals aired live on the Tennis Channel."
"St. Louis is a community that has always been passionate about its sports teams and we are thrilled to bring a Major League Pickleball team to St. Louis,” said St. Louis Shock owner Richard Chaifetz. “Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country, by far, and we look forward to contributing to its growth and the league’s development for years to come."
“Orlando is a tremendous sports town,” Orlando Squeeze co-owner Ryan DeVos said. “As our family has seen over its 30+ years of stewardship with the Orlando Magic franchise, fans here love their teams and I’m excited to see the Squeeze added to that mix. We’re also eager to join with MLP and its franchise ownership groups to connect with the millions of pickleball enthusiasts across the country and grow the sport even further.”
The 2023 MLP season kicks off in Mesa, AZ January 26-29 with all 24 teams across the MLP Premier and Challenger levels competing. For the first time, MLP competitions will be broadcast live on the Tennis Channel with the Premier Level semifinals and finals as well as the Challenger Level final. Both of the Premier Level semifinals, the Premier Level finals and the Challenger Level finals will also be streamed on the MLP website, MLP Youtube, Facebook and Twitter Channels, and T2 & TC App/TC.com Streaming services.
Fans can find every match at MLP Mesa streamed through the MLP website, MLP Youtube, Facebook, Twitter Channels, and Tennis Channel’s T2 streaming service and TC App/TC.com. In addition, all Saturday and Sunday matches will be featured on Anthem Sports & Entertainment's Game+ Network in Canada.