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Vulcan Pickleball soars to new heights

Nov 19, 2023Nov 19, 2023

The Indoor National Championships, the largest indoor pickleball tournament in the world, has a new title sponsor in Vulcan Pickleball.

The Hot Springs based company's name will now be in the title of the Professional Pickleball Association event as the Vulcan Indoor National Championships.

"Vulcan started in 2015 with a line of baseball bat grips," Vulcan CEO Vince Signorelli said. "Several years later we began our foray into pickleball. Having studied and played, a group of us just felt like it was an excellent business opportunity."

The VINC will be shown live on the Tennis Channel Sunday for the first time for Sunday's championship.

"We chose the VINC to be the title sponsor because it is unique," Signorelli said. "Being an indoor championship, every other tournament is played outdoors. When the opportunity came up to be the title sponsor we jumped at it."

According to Vulcan, pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America.

"We are just tickled to death," Signorelli said. "We are thrilled to not only have our brand in front of core pickleball players around the country and throughout the world who often watch the event online. Now championship Sunday moves over to the Tennis Channel. I can guess a million people around the world watching professional pickleball. They will be seeing our brand right there in their living rooms."

The total purse is over $100,000 for the VINC.

"It is still in the early days of development," Signorelli said. "A study said 2022 participation in pickleball in the U.S. was at 36 million. So, 14% of Americans played pickleball at least once in 2022. Comparatively the participation in golf is 36 million, tennis is 20 million and baseball is 16 million."

Vulcan Pickleball launched in 2018.

"We launched at the Atlanta Open professional pickleball tournament," Signorelli said. "It was at that time and still is today the largest launch of a pickleball equipment line in the history of the game."

Vulcan Pickleball makes 56 different paddle styles, portable nets, grips and training equipment.

The PPA announced in early 2023 Vulcan became one of the official paddles of the PPA. Vulcan is one of just four brands with the official paddle designation.

"We are really super excited," Signorelli said. "We are excited to get in when we did and to continue to invest and work to make sure that our brand stays right out there in front."

There are over 20 PPA tour stops and the sport's top athletes will compete for prize money in singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

Vulcan sponsors the No. 3 ranked player in the world, Jay Devilliers, who competes in men's singles, and No. 5 ranked Tyler Loong, who competes in men's doubles.

"If our players reach championship Sunday we match their prize money," Signorelli said. "We are fortunate we got in when we did."

Vulcan Pickleball General Manager Lucia DiGiacomo said Vulcan is the only brand with two top-10 males.

"For us it holds additional significance that we have more of an opportunity to have our guys front and center on championship Sunday," DiGiacomo said. "They are world class athletes."

The V570 paddle, Vulcan's new technology, will be launched Thursday at the VINC in Lakeville, Minnesota.

"The V570 is actually two separate paddles," DiGiacomo said. "There is a carbon fiber paddle and a fiberglass one. They really set themselves apart because up to this point carbon fiber is really hot and popular right now."

The V570 set has a honeycomb core and is the latest design. Both paddles are made of raw composites. The paddles are the same size, thickness and weight.

"The thing that is really cool about these paddles is we created them as a synchronized set," DiGiacomo said. "The fiberglass is what is really going to be a game changer. It is for intermediate to higher level players. The fiberglass is the first of its kind on the market."

The paddle is made with aerospace materials and designed to be lightweight and give more spin to the ball while staying within the USA Pickleball standards.

"The emphasis on the word raw," Signorelli said. "It is the newest technology type of carbon fiber and fiberglass. It is textured. In the game today the top players are demanding the ability to be able to spin and shake the ball. We go right to the edge of that limit; 15 years ago, pickleball was played with wooden paddles."

Vulcan Pickleball Park in Hot Springs is located at Vulcan's headquarters and has four state of the art courts.

"Hot Springs is kind of a hot spot for pickleball," Signorelli said. "Having one of the top brands in pickleball headquartered here, we have had some influence in terms of the growth. Throughout Arkansas we have helped create courts. We helped Hot Springs Health and Fitness create their facility."

Hot Springs Country Club has pickleball courts, and Hot Springs Village is home to 14 courts.

"Pickleball locally really started at the YMCA," Signorelli said. "On their basketball court, they taped off courts and they have been playing since day one. That is where I learned how to play. Pickleball has a big audience here in Hot Springs."

Vulcan also partnered with Walmart to launch its torque and blast paddles in 2,831 stores around the country in the spring.

"Pickleball is a sport for everyone," Signorelli said. "It is easy to learn, incredibly social and it embodies the healthy lifestyle that most desire. The PPA pro tour tells that story best, and we are thrilled to take our partnership with them to a new level."

Catch the high-flying action of pickleball's best players on the Tennis Channel as a new national champion is crowned and Vulcan soars to new heights.

"We are one of only four platinum level sponsors with the PPA," DiGiacomo said. "They were very exclusive and intentional, allowing specific brands to be their No. 1 partners. It is flattering and amazing that we are involved in that. There is huge stuff coming for the rest of the year."

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