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Walmart customers and employees can now play pickleball for free at dozens of courts across the US. Here’s how to sign up.

Walmart pickleballWalmart is partnering with Break the Love to help Walmart employees and customers access pickleball courts.

Walmart

  • Walmart is partnering with a racket-sports booking platform to create access to pickleball courts.
  • Company employees and customers can choose from 125,000 comped reservations to courts.
  • The retail giant said the partnership is meant to “break down existing barriers with the sport.”

Walmart is getting in on one of the most red-hot sports in the United States: pickleball.

And the Bentonville, Arkansas,-based company is seeking to erase barriers to entry for the sport that is popular at country clubs and recreation centers.

The retail giant announced this week it is partnering with Break the Love, a racket-sports booking platform, to offer 125,000 comped reservations for Walmart employees and customers, allowing them to book pickleball playtime at courts nationwide for free. Walmart did not respond directly when asked who is paying for use of the pickleball courts, only reiterating that it is “offering 125,000 court reservations.”

The sign-up site currently lists more than 30 courts available to book in 10 states: California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

Walmart said the move is meant to democratize the sport, which has been most popular among wealthy Americans.

“We are always looking for ways to create meaningful experiences that encourage our customers to interact with Walmart in new ways,” Casey Schlaybaugh, Walmart’s vice president for brand marketing and strategy, said in a press release. 

Walmart may benefit from more of its customers playing pickleball. The retailer sells a plethora of items and gear for the sport, from rackets to the pickleballs themselves. And on the website link to book courts, Walmart advertises its “favorite” pickleball supplies.

How to reserve a free pickleball court

To book a pickleball court through the partnership, Walmart employees and customers can go to www.breakthelove.com/x/walmart and select a court and time in their area. To avoid paying a fee for the court, customers must submit a screenshot of a recent store receipt or their Walmart+ membership hub page at checkout.  Walmart employees can access the comped reservations by entering a code on the booking platform.

Walmart said that members of Walmart+, its answer to Amazon Prime, will have first access for peak reservation times, co-branded swag and opportunities to meet-and-greets with pro pickleball players.

“Comped court reservations can be redeemed more than once throughout the duration of the program, and to ensure everyone has a chance to hit the courts, a new set of reservations will become available on the platform each month,” Walmart spokeswoman Lea Ciskowski told Insider.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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