Skip to main content

The Picklr, known for being the premier indoor pickleball destination in North America, has recently made a game-changing move by hiring five new executives to drive its expansion. With the sport's popularity skyrocketing, The Picklr is not just playing to stay relevant; it's strategizing to dominate the scene across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Under the new leadership, the company has clinched deals for over 110 new locations and cultivated 16 new franchises across 13 states, signaling a rapid growth phase.

At the helm of The Picklr's expansion journey are co-founders Austin Wood and Jorge Barragan, who have now joined forces with a dream team of executives. Jonathan C. Fornaci, with his stellar background in leading Tru Fusion and involvement in successful company sales like Punchh, steps in as Chief Operating Officer. The brand's new image and partnerships fall under the expertise of James Hurlock, the fresh Chief Brand Officer with a history of leading fitness franchise F45 Training to global heights. Scott Schubiger, the Chief Growth Officer, brings his rich technology and franchising expertise to oversee new franchisee experiences.

Adding to the financial acumen of the team is Josh Shelby, stepping in as Chief Financial Officer, boasting a career marked by lucrative tech sector investments and deals, including success stories like Spotify and Uber. The marketing vision for The Picklr is now entrusted to Kathryn Bullough, a maestro of marketing with a striking track record at public safety tech leader Axon and consumer electronics giant Skullcandy.

This executive infusion is part of The Picklr's strategy to enliven the pickleball brand and ensure its steady climb to new markets. Barragan shares the excitement, emphasizing the importance of the new team's passion and alignment with The Picklr's growth-oriented philosophy. He recounts the company's inception with Wood and their aspiration to be surrounded by innovators and successful individuals who share a zest for pickleball and business growth.

The newly minted COO, Jonathan C. Fornaci, is celebrated for his role in driving profitable growth in previous ventures, including a fruitful sale of a previous company for half a billion dollars. As for James Hurlock, his knack for crafting strategic partnerships and fostering growth is credited with turning F45 Training into a fitness franchise phenomenon. Scott Schubiger's career, which spans technology giants and various franchise systems, places him in a strategic position to mentor new franchisees from inception to launch. Josh Shelby, the CFO, carries over three decades of financial expertise and a solid history of managing significant investments and transactions.

Kathryn Bullough, with her experience in spearheading innovative marketing strategies at Axon and Skullcandy, is set to propel The Picklr’s marketing to new levels. Her diverse industry background positions her as a pivotal player in shaping the brand's outreach and franchise allure.

The executive team's immediate collaborative efforts have already manifested in a national giveaway campaign with pop star Katy Perry, a high-profile activation at the F1 United States Grand Prix, and the creation of a brand anthem to resonate with pickleball enthusiasts. Wood highlights the strategic assembling of this team as critical to The Picklr's growth trajectory, expecting their combined strengths to unlock new opportunities and overcome challenges.

For pickleball fans and prospective franchise owners, The Picklr presents an enticing proposition. It's not just about the sport; it's about the experience, the community, and the professional setup that makes pickleball more than a game. The company's commitment to premier facilities and its vibrant culture is what sets it apart. As The Picklr expands, it aims to make pickleball a cornerstone of competitive and recreational sports, creating a ripple effect that will likely transform the landscape of indoor sports facilities.