Major League Pickleball announced Wednesday that Brady, who plays quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has invested in an expansion team. James, who plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, did the same thing last month.
Both sports stars joined with other big-name athletes to make their pickleball team purchase. James’ ownership group includes Draymond Green and Kevin Love. Brady partnered with former tennis champion Kim Clijsters.
In a statement, Clijsters said she was “thrilled” to be part of the future of pickleball.
“What excites me the most about becoming a (Major League Pickleball) owner is that I get to help shape the future of pickleball, a sport I have come to love, with great people — who also happen to be some of my best friends. I’m thrilled to help showcase professional pickleball and make an impact on the sport through my experience gained in the top levels of professional tennis,” she said, according to ESPN.
Major League Pickleball was launched in 2021 amid the recent surge in interest in the sport. Each team has four players: two men and two women. Tournaments take place across the country.
The league, which is currently made up of 12 teams, will expand to 16 teams in 2023, which explains why Brady and James had the opportunity to get involved, ESPN reported.
“Prize money is expected to surpass $2 million next season,” the article said.