USHBC announces pickleball partnership
May 8, 2024

US Highbush Blueberry Council and Major League Pickleball team up to increase blueberry consumption and fuel healthy, active lifestyles

The US Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC) has announced a partnership with Major League Pickleball (MLP) for its 2024 season, promoting blueberries as ’the official fruit of MLP’.

According to a statement, one in five adult Americans, or 48m people, play or have tried pickleball – and its popularity is growing each year at a rate of 64 per cent.

By being the first-ever produce commodity to partner with the premier organisation for professional coed team pickleball, USHBC said it was aiming to increase awareness of blueberries’ benefits among pickleball enthusiasts, encouraging them to eat more blueberries for a healthy and active lifestyle.

“Pickleball is a hugely popular sport that inspires excitement and passion – in the same way we know many people are superfans of blueberries for their deliciousness and health benefits,” said Kasey Cronquist, president of US Highbush Blueberry Council.

“There is tremendous opportunity to capture and grow this enthusiasm through our partnership with Major League Pickleball, which will come to life throughout the season and motivate consumers to grab a boost of blue, whether they’re a fan of playing pickleball, watching it, or both.”

The MLP partnership encompasses a comprehensive national marketing promotions programme that spans 11 events in as many markets across the country, kicking off with the season’s first event, MLP Atlanta.

USHBC advertising and messages encouraging consumers to Grab a Boost of Blue will appear in linear broadcast, streaming, courtside signage, and on MLP’s social media channels, website and newsletter.

Additionally, MLP’s VIP and player tents will feature blueberries for hundreds of onsite attendees at events throughout the season.

To complement the sponsorship, USHBC said it will also work directly with pickleball influencers and players to create content that demonstrates how blueberries are a perfect partner to support nutrition for athletes and active lifestyles alike.

USHBC will also launch a National Blueberry Month campaign to further boost consumption and excitement around pickleball, including plans to host special activities during MLP’s mid-season tournament in July.