by Stephen Garner

Perry Ellis International-owned brands Original Penguin by Munsingwear and Grand Slam have signed an extensive, multi-year partnership with USA Pickleball.

The brands will serve as the Official Apparel Partner and exclusive Referee Program sponsor. The partnership establishes Original Penguin by Munsingwear and Grand Slam as industry-leading paddle brands for all genders and ages to one of the fastest-growing sports, pickleball.

Pickleball has great appeal with over 4.2 million players in 2020, an increase of 700,000 participants over 2019, despite the pandemic. Now, USA Pickleball will launch a new online store, https://shopusapickleball.com with exclusive co-branded merchandise.

“We are ecstatic to be at the forefront of one of the fastest-growing sports, and see a tremendous opportunity to expand our footprint in a growing paddle sport industry,” said Oscar Feldenkreis, president and CEO of Perry Ellis International. “The collection will offer functional style and iconic logoed apparel to pickleball players. Additionally, sponsorship of prominent USA Pickleball tournaments will generate additional brand awareness and exposure through various marketing platforms and activations.”

“To partner with a premier fashion house such as Perry Ellis International and the Original Penguin by Munsingwear and Grand Slam brands for our pickleball community, staff and referees is a great honor,” added Stu Upson, CEO of USA Pickleball. “We are excited for this new partnership and the opportunities that lie ahead. As an organization, we are thrilled to see the exponential growth in the number of players throughout the United States and the opportunity to attract and retain the best referees through this partnership.”