Ten years ago padel, disc golf and pickleball might have been mistaken for arcade games but today they are among a group of emerging sports that are gathering popularity.
As the ongoing power struggle in padel has demonstrated, though, the professionalization of these games can result in a tussle for control akin to a sporting civil war. With broadcasters and sponsors increasingly willing to invest in these disciplines, there are a number of stakeholders keen to position themselves as the overarching arbiter, whether they be global governing bodies, independent tours or institutional investors.
A number of these sports also have aspirations of pushing past their modest beginnings and gaining global recognition by featuring at future editions of multi-sport events. In most cases, that goal requires becoming a member of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), which in itself can be a lengthy process.
With that in mind, SportsPro takes a look at the current state of play in some of the world’s fastest-growing sports, the organizations seeking to move them forward, and how some disputes could potentially be resolved. Read the report here.
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