Pickleball Magazine, the first magazine dedicated to America’s fastest-growing sport, was launched in January 2016. Wayne Dollard of Dollard Publishing is responsible for starting the magazine! We are glad to share his story on how this fabulous publication got started. Enjoy!
In the 1990s, I was a Color Systems Specialist for Canon. In 1999 I began publishing a national magazine for the sport of Platform Tennis, just for fun. A few years later, I quit my day job and began adding direct-mailed community magazines to my publishing portfolio. By 2015, I had 40 employees and 42 magazines being direct mailed to over 2 million households.
I was introduced to pickleball when I visited family at The Villages, Florida. I have a competitive tennis background and even played a couple years at Penn State. I was also nationally ranked in platform tennis for several years until I was permanently sidelined by a back injury and surgery in 2011. I began playing pickleball socially last year. In my first tournament, I won a few rounds at the US Open 35 Mixed and Men’s 4.5 Doubles. I have since won a few local tournaments. My wife Lisa and sons Jordan, Brenden and Tyler really enjoy pickleball, so we’ll be putting a court in our backyard this spring.
In June of 2015, I received phone calls from Terri Graham, Director of the 2016 US Open Pickleball Championship, and Chuck Vietmier, Director of Product Marketing for Gamma Sports, who encouraged me to launch a magazine for pickleball.
I did further research on the sport, and had positive discussions with Justin Maloof, the Executive Director of the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA). Justin gave me the statistics that made this venture all the more attractive: 2.5 million players worldwide, USAPA membership growth from 4,071 to over 10,000 in 3 years and a similar rate of growth in places to play listed on the USAPA website.
Justin and I brainstormed content features and the first Pickleball Magazine was published in January last year. The USAPA does not have an ownership interest in the magazine, but we offer them free content and they email the magazine to their 10,000+ player membership. The USAPA has been very helpful in getting Pickleball Magazine started.
Now, just 14 months after launching, we email each issue of the magazine to over 100,000 people, as well as sending print copies in the mail to 5,000 people. We also distribute the magazine to over 200 Barnes and Noble locations. Both the digital and print subscriptions for Pickleball Magazine are growing every day. We imagine Pickleball Magazine will continue to grow in popularity for many years to come.
Thank you Wayne for giving us your story on how the first Pickleball Magazine got it’s start. You’ve done a great job with this publication and we look forward to all of your future issues!
If you are interested in subscribing to Pickleball Magazine, here is some great information for you:
- Pickleball Magazine is published six times per year.
- Each issue runs around 60 – 70 pages and contains 20 or more feature articles.
- Each issue contains four to six great instructional articles with detailed recommendations for drills, strategy, and skills development.