By Tiffany Merlo Phelps
Laura Gainor had just launched a marketing company, Vossberg Gainor, while living in Chicago when pickleball hit her radar quite by accident in 2019.
“I was introduced to USA Pickleball through my husband because he used to have George Bauernfeind as a client at a previous agency. George is the chief marketing officer for USA Pickleball,” said Gainor, whose husband works in sports marketing.
USA Pickleball became Gainor’s client, and Gainor quickly realized that she wanted to learn to play the sport to be a more effective pickleball marketing consultant.
“On my one-year anniversary of launching Vossberg Gainor, I rebranded my website to have the unique niche of Pickleball Marketing. USA Pickleball continues to be a client, among others,” she said.
In October 2020, Gainor and her family moved to Nocatee, specifically because of its 12 new pickleball courts (for Nocatee residents only). She normally plays twice a day, every day.
“It’s the fastest growing sport in the USA, and it is a thriving social sport with a huge friend network,” said Gainor, 38. “It actually became more popular during the pandemic because people could play outside and socialize safely.”
Gainor’s enthusiasm for the sport can be found throughout Ponte Vedra Beach — both indoors and outdoors.
Reza Shafii plays pickleball three days a week at the Ponte Vedra YMCA every morning. He has…