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The Pickleball Slam

Live Production, Sports, Broadcast


The Pickleball Slam, co-produced by Kwokman Productions and broadcast on ESPN, was a game-changer in bringing a niche sport into the limelight. Set in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Theater with a custom court installed where an orchestra pit would be, our goal was to give pickleball the high-end broadcast treatment, letting the sport shine like never before.

"After Andy and I took home the hardware at the first Pickleball Slam, I said I would be playing pickleball as long as I can walk--that's how much I enjoy this game..." 

- Andre Agassi
American former world No. 1 tennis player


The main hurdles were upgrading the broadcast quality from the standard low-end coverage that is the norm for pickleball to a much higher-level broadcast, integrating new technology and camera angles.  Added to that challenge is setting up a complex production in a non-traditional venue.

Technical Approach

Kwokman Productions demonstrated its technical prowess in The Pickleball Slam, utilizing approximately 15 high-definition cameras, including sophisticated net 360 degree cams, and NBA-inspired player microphone technology. We complemented this with a custom lighting setup and enlisted top-tier commentators to enhance the broadcast experience.

Execution and Impact

The production was a massive leap for pickleball, making it much more engaging than any previous pickleball show. It proved that even smaller sports can look fantastic on screen with the right amount of technical creativity. The event was a hit, upping the game for how niche sports are broadcast and was well received by audiences.


The Pickleball Slam represented a notable advancement in broadcast for the sport. Leveraging the personalities of A-list athletes, sophisticated production methods and cohesive teamwork, it elevated the viewing experience of an emerging sport. Steffi Graf's participation added a layer of prominence, fueling anticipation for a subsequent event and underscoring pickleball's growing allure in the sports world.


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