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International Project
Management Day 2023

The Business Boom of Pickleball


Eric Ho & Ray Xiong

NYC Pickleball

About the Presentation

Pickleball is not a new sport. Founded in 1965 as a hybrid of tennis and ping-pong, pickleball has been a backyard sport for nearly 60 years. It’s only been within the past three years that it has grown by 40% and now has about 4.8 million registered players in the US alone. While the “why” of pickleball growth is very visible – it’s a social activity, it’s athletic, and it’s accessible for all ages – just “how” did a nearly 60-year-old sport find a new audience in the 21st century?

In this POV, we will be talking to the founders of NYC Pickleball, Eric Ho and Ray Xiong. They will be giving us insight into the origins of NYC Pickleball, how they used project management principles to grow the business, and what they think the future of the game looks like.

Key Takeaways

  • Identify the key factors that are holding you and your team back from achieving goals and dreams.
  • Analyze the steps to overcome fear, indecision, or disorientation to plan a path for success.
  • Assess the benefits of pushing through the obstacles that stand in your team’s way.

About Eric Ho

Eric left his 11-year career in finance to pursue pickleball coaching full-time in August of 2022. Since then, he’s worked with over 300 different students of all levels, on top of managing tournaments, leagues, corporate events, and more. Through NYC Pickleball, his goal is to help as many people as possible unlock their potential in the sport.

About Ray Xiong

Ray founded the tech and growth teams at Dig Food Group, managing double-digit growth in the Catering & Events and Online Ordering businesses. Under her leadership as VP of Growth, Dig opened 10 new restaurants in Philly, Boston, and NYC. She brings all that experience and more to NYC Pickleball, where player experience is the number one focus.