Padel become a popular sport in Kuwait starting in 2022, despite the sport being present in 2021. The craze for padel spread among the population through celebrity posts and as a result, more padel courts started opening up, padel institutes started popping up and brands started sponsoring padel tournaments and also creating special products just for padel! For some institutes in Kuwait, padel training took over completely and marketing agencies were hired to create digital designs and marketing campaigns to build brand awareness.
This article looks at the future of padel sport in Kuwait and sees whether the craze for padel will remain strong or trickle down in the coming years
Is Padel the same as Tennis?
Padel is distinguished from tennis as a racquet sport that can be played on both indoor and outdoor courts with a lower bounce than tennis. However, both sports have almost similar rules, which makes it quite simple for people to transition from one sport to another. The court is 10-by-20 meters, which involves lesser running and the players can play off from the back glass panels as well
Padel is a game that's similar to tennis and squash, but it has a few key differences. The scoring system is the same as in normal tennis, but the balls used are different. They're smaller and lighter than tennis balls, and they have less pressure inside them. The main difference between padel and tennis is that these balls are played off the walls of the court, like in squash or racquetball. And instead of using racquets with strings as tennis players do, padel players use solid bats made from wood or carbon fiber (or sometimes both!)
What made Padel so popular in Kuwait?
Padel became a huge craze in Kuwait starting in 2022. The reason for its popularity is the fact that padel is easier to play for all age groups. Anotio observed aged individuals and kids both enjoy playing padel as it’s less intensive than tennis. Furthermore, people wanted to keep themselves healthy by playing sports that were easily accessible to all. However, padel was in the country starting in 2021 but became really popular in 2022 as businesses took advantage of the growing opportunity. The game was promoted by celebrities through social media and then it got picked up through word-of-mouth. Word of mouth was key in marketing padel games in Kuwait. As always, word-of-mouth marketing is the best form of marketing in Kuwait that works for nearly every industry.
What makes Padel lucrative?
It is cheaper to build a padel court, it takes up less space than a football field, and it requires fewer players to play. That makes it easier for people to organize their own games.
Profit margins on padel are much higher than those of football, so more indoor courts are being built. Padel courts take less space and have huge demand, businesses are able to build more courts in the same area which get fully booked after 5 pm. As per recent research, it is estimated that the monthly revenue from padel is 5,000-7,000 KWD.
Padel is not a seasonal sport. It can be played all year round. Indoor padel courts allow people to enjoy the sport without the intense summer heat. Outdoor padel courts are also being opened on grounds, which see a greater level of demand starting spring season.
The learning curve is easily overcome, it’s less intensive, and is a great sport to play with friends and family.
Men are joining padel more than women. However, women have fewer barriers to entry in padel because it’s easier to play than other intensive sports such as football, basketball, and so on
How are Brands Promoting Padel in Kuwait?
There are many ways how brands are taking advantage of the padel craze. Some brands would conduct padel tournaments or conduct a tournament. In September 2022, Talabat Al-Kuwait Company announced the launch of the largest padel tournament in Kuwait during the period from 23 to 24 September, with the participation of 36 teams of professionals and beginners. Certain brands would also sponsor the event as well. Mostly padel competitions are held earlier in the year, in February, March, and April. They are also held after the summer break, in September, October, and November.
The next way brands take advantage is by launching special products just for padel. For instance, Juicek launched a special juice flavor just for padel players.
Padel has immensely grown in Kuwait, faster than any other GCC country. Kuwaiti businessmen look for opportunities and grab them as it comes by. As a result, padel courts are popping up everywhere, which are mainly outdoors. Outdoor padel courts will experience good growth in the winter season, but will drastically reduce as the summer season approaches. Morning bookings wouldn’t be there and evening bookings will be low due to the hot weather. We believe the future of padel sports is indoor courts that have a facilitated AC system, beverages, and lighting. Even though there are padel courts with a demountable roofing system that protects the players from direct sunlight, it would still be less preferred over indoor padel courts.
In a short survey sent to Kuwaiti nationals, Anotio finds that 64.7% prefer to play padel indoors. Many are also glad that the sport became popular in Kuwait. It promotes healthy activity for all ages, which is particularly important for a population suffering from obesity and other diseases due to sedentary lifestyles and easy access to fast food and soda
Indoor padel courts can also be within complexes and shopping malls. A padel court was opened in Symphony court that allows people to play inside the complex itself. It’s a great experience for players as well as they not only beat the heat but also get access to beverages and food in the complex.
The government, with the cooperation of the Youth Public Authority, built its own padel courts at affordable prices (10KWD), thus dropping the prices in the market. Hence, market prices are controlled well by the government. Training institutes for padel have risen, some even shifted 100% towards padel training. These institutes provide separate training for men, women, and kids, and even host padel tournaments.
Kuwait has seen a boom in padel courts, with growing demand and a growing number of players. Kuwait will continue to host the sport, with adults and children participating in big numbers. We believe padel is here to stay in Kuwait, for at least the next For businesses to succeed in the sector, it is crucial to look at the supporting industries to padel - such as IT, court servicing, padel training, marketing services for padel courts, design services, supply of products, and so much more.