Despite tennis historically being one of the most popular sports in the UK, consumer demand data reveals sports enthusiasts are turning their attention to padel, the world’s fastest growing racket sport. Pattern’s data shows an 8% decrease YoY in the demand for tennis rackets and a 10% rise in tennis balls.
Comparing this to the demand growth for padel products, a much younger but rapidly growing sport, the insights could not be more different. In the last year, the demand for padel rackets and balls has mushroomed by 95% and 161% respectively. The sport, which is growing in popularity largely due to social media, is showing no signs of going away. The data insights come from Pattern’s analysis of consumer demand for tennis and padel products from 2022 to 2023.
While the demand for padel products is growing at a considerable rate, overall demand for tennis rackets is still 23% higher than for padel rackets, while demand for tennis balls is 25x the demand for padel balls. That may be due, in part, to the fact that tennis balls are often used for a variety of applications outside of the sport, for example as dog toys, or for physical therapy. It also speaks to the sheer volume of people that play tennis vs. padel right now. Most tennis players likely own rackets, but need to purchase balls regularly to continue play.
Neal Fairfield, Director of Consultancy, Europe at Pattern, said: “Padel is the fastest growing sport in the world, so it is no surprise to see the growth in demand for padel products. Thanks to a surge in social media coverage, padel has taken the country by storm with the number of UK padel courts set to double this year compared to last. It is very much the sport of the moment; however, we expect it to be around for a long time, especially with the investment in infrastructure. While tennis is not currently experiencing the same levels of growth demand, it is a much loved sport and events like Wimbledon mean it will never go away.”