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The following excerpt originally appeared on The Kitchen Pickleball. To read the full article, click here. 

At first glance, soccer and pickleball couldn’t be more different. 

Soccer’s history dates back thousands of years to the Han Dynasty; pickleball was invented in the 1960s. Soccer is primarily played with players’ feet; pickleball is a racquet sport involving “fast hands.” A soccer field is enormous at 81,000 square feet; a pickleball court is tiny at 800-880 square feet. 

But look closer at the two, and you’ll notice some remarkable similarities – particularly from within the sports’ collective cultures and fandoms. 

To shed light on the sport’s unique similarities, and what pickleball can learn from soccer, The Kitchen sought insight from rEvolution and rEv United’s Bruce Bundrant, who serves as Senior Vice President, Global Head of Business Development. Prior to rEvolution, Bundrant served as Commercial Director for Ligue 1’s AS Monaco and Head of Commercial Partnerships for the English Premier League’s Liverpool FC in addition to spending time with the MLS’s DC United in ticket sales and sponsorships during the early years of MLS.

“In those early years of Major League Soccer, our pitch to potential sponsors, media partners and ticket buyers was ‘Look how popular grassroots soccer is. It’s obvious this groundswell of popularity will result in a successful pro league, so come out and support MLS.’ 

“This is the exact same narrative that I used at Major League Pickleball. ‘Pickleball has been America’s fastest growing sport the past few years. It’s obvious this trajectory of participation will result in a successful pro league, so come out and support MLP.’ 

To learn more about rEvolution’s soccer expertise and rEv United, click here.