First-of-its-kind competition to be televised live on ESPN
Four of America’s greatest tennis champions competing for $1 million
NEW YORK, Jan. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Horizon Sports & Experiences (HS&E), an innovative agency combining sports, experiential marketing and media capabilities, announced the Inaugural Pickleball Slam featuring tennis legends Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, John McEnroe, and Andy Roddick competing for a $1 million purse. Created and produced by HS&E and InsideOut Sports & Entertainment (ISE), the 2023 event will be held at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida on Sunday, April 2 and will be televised live exclusively on ESPN at 12:00 PM Eastern, immediately ahead of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.
“Pickleball is nothing short of a cultural phenomenon – experiencing a meteoric rise across genders, age groups, geographies, and income levels. The Slam, a multi-year partnership with the Hard Rock, represents the convergence of culture and sport, giving brands an opportunity to engage with passionate fans and amateur players, as pickleball continues to gain popularity,” said David Levy, Co-CEO, HS&E. “We look forward to bringing together four of America’s most iconic tennis legends for this groundbreaking competition, which heralds a new milestone for the fastest growing sport in America.”
The Slam marks the start of a five-event partnership with Hard Rock, HS&E, and ISE, and showcases HS&E’s innovation, creativity, and engagement strategies that drive brand and business growth for sponsors. Future Pickleball Slams will be held at various Hard Rock locations. The inaugural Slam will feature two legends’ singles matches pitting Roddick versus Chang, followed by McEnroe versus Agassi in the second match. The final match of the day will be a doubles match with McEnroe and Chang competing against Roddick and Agassi. The final match will determine the split of the $1 million purse.
“We are tremendously excited to be bringing the Inaugural Pickleball Slam to Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida,” said Keith Sheldon, President of Entertainment for Hard Rock International and Seminole Gaming. “Hard Rock Live has become synonymous with big events, and to have four of the biggest names in American tennis battling for the largest purse in pickleball history on a national live broadcast will only serve to bolster this reputation. We are honored to partner with HS&E to debut The Slam at The Guitar Hotel.”
The 2023 Pickleball Slam includes an amateur challenge, which will be played on Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1. It will include 96 doubles teams, entering on a first-come-first-in basis, vying for a $10,000 team prize, and a chance to compete against two of the tennis-turned-pickleball legends prior to the televised event on Sunday, April 2. The weekend also includes a Saturday night banquet featuring a Q&A with the tennis legends.
For more information and to register for the Slam Amateur Challenge, visit www.thepickleballslam.com. Tickets to the Slam go on sale February 10.
Horizon Sports & Experiences (HS&E)
Horizon Sports & Experiences (HS&E) is an affiliate of Horizon Media, the largest U.S. media agency according to AdAge Data Center 2022, and provides a unique and complementary combination of sports, experiential marketing, and media capabilities. HS&E has a core focus on IP creation and monetization, strategic advisory and consulting, media rights, sponsorship, sales, and experiential, Metaverse, and Web3.0 strategy and activation. HS&E is led by co-CEOs David Levy and Chris Weil.
Horizon Media, Inc, the largest U.S. media agency according to AdAge Data Center 2022, delivers data-driven business outcomes for some of the most innovative and ambitious brands. Founded in 1989, headquartered in New York, and with offices in Los Angeles and Toronto, the company employs 2,400 people and has media investments of more than $9 billion. Horizon Media’s fundamental belief is that business is personal, which drives its approach to connecting brands with their customers and engaging with its own employees resulting in industry-leading workplace satisfaction levels (Glassdoor). The company is consistently recognized by independent media outlets for its client excellence and has earned several “Best Workplaces” awards reflecting its commitment to DEI and the life and well-being of everyone at Horizon Media.
InsideOut Sports + Entertainment (ISE)
InsideOut Sports + Entertainment (ISE) is a Los Angeles based independent event producer founded in 2004 by former world No.1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. InsideOut owns and operates numerous proprietary events and promotions including the Champions Series, the Legendary Night Series of exhibitions, and numerous customized private and public outings. To date, InsideOut has produced over 300 events in 44 states and 12 countries and is committed to a strong charity tie-in with every public event it owns or produces. Since inception, InsideOut events have contributed over $5 million to various charitable causes.
About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood is the flagship-integrated resort of Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The renowned entertainment, gaming and hospitality destination unveiled a $1.5 billion expansion in 2019, highlighting the debut of the world’s first and only Guitar Hotel. Between three hotel towers, the resort boasts 1,271 luxury guestrooms. Amenities include a 42,000 square-foot Rock Spa® & Salon; an 18-acre recreational water experience; private “Bora Bora” style cabanas; more than 20 food and beverage outlets; an expansive gaming floor with more than 2,700 slots, more than 200 table games and a 45-table poker room; 120,000 square feet of premier meeting and convention space; and a 26,000 square-foot retail promenade. Hard Rock Live, ranked No. 5 worldwide in 2022 gross revenue for both Pollstar Magazine and Billboard in its respective categories, highlights A-list entertainers and performers, sporting events and live broadcast productions in an intimate 7,000-person capacity setting. Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood is located on 87 acres of the Hollywood Seminole Reservation along State Road 7 (U.S. Highway 441). For more information, visit us online at www.seminolehardrockhollywood.com call (800) 937-0010 or follow us: Facebook: SeminoleHardRockHollywood, Twitter: @HardRockHolly, Instagram: @HardRockHolly.
ESPN, Inc., is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment brand, featuring an unmatched portfolio of sports assets. It is comprised of eight U.S. 24-hour television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, Longhorn Network, SEC Network and the ACC Network; five with HD simulcast services – ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and ESPN Deportes). Other businesses include direct-to-consumer video service ESPN+, ESPN Audio (broadcast, satellite, digital, podcasts), an array of digital services (ESPN.com and many other sites, ESPN App, fantasy games and more), multi-screen ESPN3, endeavors on every continent around the world across media including more than 40 networks, espnW, consumer products and ESPN Events. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Hearst holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.
SOURCE Horizon Media