Monday, November 28, 2022
As DUPR cozies up with the PPA, UTR finds its way to Ken Herrmann and the APP.
On Sunday evening news dropped that the APP would be partnering with UTR, Universal Tennis Rating. UTR is owned in part by Amazon, Novak Djokovic, Team Australia and several other investors. UTR is the latest tennis rating system that has exploded over the last five to ten years for their "single 16-point scale rating, without regard to age, gender, nationality, or locale of a given match." says their website. Sound familiar? It should. This is exactly what DUPR is for pickleball. In fact, several former employees from UTR helped create DUPR so that pickleball could have a more efficient, accepted rating system throughout the sport. It was so effective and lucrative for tennis, why not bring it over to pickleball? UTR wants their piece of the pickleball pie, as any company would, as DUPR becomes widely accepted in pickleball. UTR's algorithm has worked for tennis so of course expanding their company into another sport like pickleball would be massive growth for them and seems like a natural fit. Their partnership with APP puts them on the map in pickleball as a contender to the DUPR rating system. After all, they were in the space first...but will they be better?
This partnership between APP and UTR is integral for both organizations. UTR has to have access to the marketplace of pickleball. The APP is that access as they have thousands upon thousands of amateurs and pro players playing monthly in their tournaments all over the United States and the world. APP could have easily partnered with DUPR and at one point that was on the table. However, since DUPR/MLP both owned by Steve Kuhn teamed up with the PPA, the idea of working with DUPR was no longer on the before mentioned table. Let's not forget that the 2022 MLP draft was held in New York at the APP NYC Open. Pickleball is being played like the game of chess with pieces constantly moving around and changing the game. It's hard to keep track of all the moves and who is on what team as it seems forever changing. DUPR/MLP/PPA recently sent player contracts to top pro players, once again trying to force and eliminate the competition of APP. This perhaps is the reason why the new partnership between the APP and UTR was leaked out just 3 days after player contracts from the PPA/MLP were received. APP aligning itself with UTR will have its advantages. The UTR platform has been a successful functioning website and app for many years. Working out the kinks and inner workings of how the site and app should perform will be minute and quickly tailored to pickleball. As pickleball continues to grow everywhere, in particular with young tennis athletes, the database and platform UTR provides across the world gives access to millions of tennis players who inevitably will be a part of the future and growth of pickleball.
UTR and APP joining forces will surely give the PPA and DUPR a run for their money. Will this complicate the sport even more? Will this allow options for the consumer to keep everyone honest in offerings and price? More details of the UTR and APP partnership coming soon.