The New York Yankees announced Tuesday that they are partnering with A1 Padel to bring its first ever U.S. tournament to Wollman Rink in October.
A1 Padel is an international padel tour founded in 2020 by Fabrice Pastor. Padel is one of the world’s fastest-growing sports, according to Pastor, and the tour has held more than 50 events across the globe, including in Spain, Monaco, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa. They now are partnering with the Yankees to expand the padel presence in the US.
“It’s a dream come true for us to be with an organization like the Yankees,” Pastor said.
The Yankees have partnered with a number of sports organizations over the past few years, expanding their footprint past baseball, including owning a minority stake in NYC Football Club (NYCFC), hosting the Bad Boy Mowers Pinstripe Bowl and their recent investment in AC Milan.
Yankees team president Randy Levine said he was drawn to Pastor as a potential partner and to A1 Padel’s success in Europe and other markets.
“I looked and saw that padel was, as he said, the fastest growing sport in the world, and played intensely pretty much all throughout Europe, South America and Africa, but not here,” Levine said. “We, at the Yankees, are always looking for investments that our brand can help bring sports to the core, and this one matched.”
Yankee Global Enterprises first invested in A1 Padel in March, and CEO of Infinity Sports and Yankees partner Ike S. Franco first partnered with Pastor in October 2022 to develop the sport in the U.S. The tournament is A1 Padel’s first introduction into the U.S. market, and Franco and Pastor said they hope to open more academies and create more opportunities for people to play padel in the U.S.
“We are going to have other tournaments in the U.S. this coming year,” Franco said. “Next year, we’ll probably add a few more, so these tournaments will make the awareness grow in a major way. The other part of it is, I mentioned that earlier, building it on the grassroots. That’s really going to be the ultimate test.”
The tournament will be available through the YES Network, with other broadcast partners to be announced later. Tickets are now on sale for the event, which can host up to 4,000 people at capacity.