Gearbox Sports & Playin Games Announce New Strategic Partnership Featuring Upcoming Virtual Pickleball Tournament

Country’s Leading Pickleball Equipment Manufacturer to be Featured in
Virtual Reality for the First Time in Upcoming Pickleball VR
Tournament, “Gearbox Playin Pickleball VR Open

Photos and videos HERE

SAN DIEGO and ATLANTA, March 10, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gearbox Sports, the leader in pickleball and paddle sports equipment and technology, and Playin Games, an innovative new gaming company, today announced a strategic branding partnership connecting pickleball on and offline, kicking off with a virtual pickleball tournament. The Gearbox Playin Pickleball VR Open will feature Gearbox branded environments and paddles and will be hosted on Playin Pickleball, scheduled for Saturday, March 25th to Sunday, April 2nd, 2023.

Pickleball’s Popularity

Pickleball is one of America's fastest-growing sports, with more than 36.5 million players in 2022, according to the Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP). The APP report also showed that 14% of Americans played pickleball at least once in those 12 months. The sport has caught the eye of several star athletes ranging from LeBron James, Tom Brady, Kevin Durant, and Patrick Mahomes. They have brought high-profile attention to the sport by investing in professional pickleball teams. Pickleball is also attracting new sponsors with familiar names like Holland America, Anheuser-Busch, Skechers, and Carvana who have all signed pickleball deals.

Information on Virtual Pickleball Tournament

To kick off the Gearbox & Playin Games partnership, the two companies will host a virtual pickleball tournament that will take place from Saturday, March 25th to Sunday, April 2nd, 2023 on Playin Pickleball, the VR pickleball game published by Playin Games on the Meta Quest 2 platform. The new Gearbox CX14H Ultimate Power and GBX paddles will be available to play in the game, and participants and viewers can use code GearboxVROpen10 for 10% off a purchase on valid during the tournament from March 25th to April 2nd. Admission to the virtual pickleball tournament is open to anyone 18 and older residing in the United States, and select matches will also be live-streamed on Discord and Twitch. For more information on the tournament, including rules and registration, please visit

As a prize, the top tournament winners will receive their choice of the new Gearbox CX14 Ultimate Power or GBX paddle, and the grand prize is a trip to the upcoming Carvana Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) Tour event, the Newport Beach Shootout, scheduled for April 21st to 23rd at the Tennis and Pickleball Club at Newport Beach where the winner will also receive a 30-minute session with a Gearbox pickleball professional athlete.

“Gearbox is a forward-thinking, tech-focused pickleball manufacturer, and we are thrilled to be working with them," said Raghu Bathina, CEO and Co-Founder of Playin Games. "Through our partnership with Gearbox, we will bring the company to the metaverse through our VR game Playin Pickleball, the definitive pickleball game for Meta Quest 2. We are excited to see Gearbox combine real-world and virtual-world activities to engage pickleball fans and players everywhere. We also invite brands who may want to have branding in VR through Playin Pickleball."

“With technology at our core, we are delighted to partner with Playin Pickleball to extend the sport to audiences off the court and into the virtual space,” said Rafael Filippini, CEO of Gearbox. “It’s a great way to share our newest paddles within the game and reach existing players who want to experience the sport in a new way.”

Team Gearbox has several prominent professional athletes who rank highly on the tour, including Michelle Esquivel, Wyatt Stone, and Joey Farias.

“I got a chance to play Playin Pickleball at the Gearbox PPA tournament booth last month and it was such a fun experience going virtual with my game and provided a nice workout to top it off,” said Michelle Esquivel, Gearbox professional athlete.

To sign up for the virtual pickleball tournament hosted by Gearbox and Playin Pickleball, please visit For companies who want to inquire about hosting their own virtual pickleball tournament in the metaverse, please contact

About Gearbox Sports
Gearbox was launched in 2007 in San Diego, CA. Founded and designed by a professional racquetball athlete with over 30 years in the composites industry, Gearbox products are created with technology and durability at the forefront. Built to last, they are the only pickleball paddles on the market with a patented carbon fiber core. The brand offers a wide range of products, apparel, and accessories for pickleball, racquetball, paddleball, and squash. Gearbox is available at hundreds of retailers worldwide and online. For more information visit: and @gearbox_pickleball

About Playin Games
Playin Games, the company behind Playin Pickleball, is a new gaming company passionate about bringing real-world sports into VR. As an enthusiastic group of healthcare professionals, technology entrepreneurs, game programmers, and artists, Playin Games strives to bring the best visuals and real-life physics of sports to virtual reality. Visit Playin Games at and visit Playin Pickleball at, on Twitter at @playinpickle, and on Instagram at @playinpickleball.

Media Contacts
Audree Hernandez | Sebastian Moradi
(949) 648-7270
Jmac PR for Playin Pickleball