Roman Taupin de Padelonomics draws up a complete inventory of the padel in France in 2020 and its possible developments.

The racket market in France

First you have to explain a little bit about the snowshoeing market in France. We have in our country a real racket culture in our history which allows us to have a large pool of tennis, squash, badminton, ping-pong players ... And yet according to a very good study by the Ministry of Sports carried out in 2018, racket sports attract little (only 6% of respondents replied that they would test a racket sport well).

Why ? Well, because the athlete / client of the moment wants to “play sports when he wants, the time he wants, where he wants, with little equipment and that it is good for health and to relax”. In short, popular sports are running, yoga, swimming, bodybuilding or fitness.

Racket sports are often perceived as difficult sports, difficult to access, complicated to find partners, not necessarily recommended for health (back, knees ...): they do not really attract.

The growth of padel

What does this imply for the padel ? Well that implies that the growth of padel is not achieved by creating new racquet sports enthusiasts but by transforming (stealing) existing players from other racket sports. And in our case, the padel grows by transforming tennis players into tennis players padel. This logic alone explains a large part of the growth dynamic of the padel.

You have in the years 2010 to 2015 pioneers, private clubs who have settled in the 4 corners of France. Very quickly, they created a clientele which was mostly made up of retrained tennis players, so they stole 'clients' from tennis clubs, which very quickly prompted tennis clubs to set up tennis courts. padel to prevent their players from escaping to other infrastructures.

Which accelerated the growth of padel because when you put a lot of padel (the transforming machine) next to the main raw material (the tennis players), you bring the wolf into the sheepfold and the process of transforming the tennis player into a tennis player. padel is launched. A survey that I did with tennis clubs shows that 25% to 60% of tennis club licensees play tennis padel when the latter installed one. Imagine the speed of transformation of this sport in just a few years in these clubs.

We are from just under 200 lots to 800 in 5 years. From less than 100 clubs to almost 400. The growth is there, it is constant, even if it is not a boom. But the boom is coming. I started to reference the projects to come in France and I have never seen so many projects planned for 5 years. Things are accelerating.

I plan to arrive at 1500 courts in France in 2023 with a total of 600 clubs.

Le padel : a chance for tennis clubs

Le padel is no longer a fashion and more than that, the padel is now becoming the miracle solution for many tennis clubs. Faced with the fall in the number of licensees, the lack of resources and work for teachers, municipal tennis clubs are forced to reinvent themselves, and for that they need money from the town hall. And to obtain the favors of the chosen one, the padel becomes, for many club presidents, the right option to restart the activity, create a social, profitable and low-cost link. So structurally speaking, the stars align for the padel to boost its growth.

Public / Private: two different markets

At the level of the padel, each year we have more tennis clubs that are created than private clubs (60/40) but given that the private ones create bigger projects, the courts in France remain mostly private (55 against 45). Moreover, the private individuals are developing a padel indoor unlike tennis which develops, for lack of resources, a padel outdoor.



At the federal level, FFT is a chance, because by its aura, its network of clubs in the territory, the padel gains in visibility and legitimacy. On the other hand, the private sector is right to come together to be more visible and weigh more in the negotiations. The FFT is strong thanks to Roland Garros which brings in 80% of its turnover (280 million), private clubs must now position themselves and create a “Roland Garros of padel”Whose fruits would return to them.

Padel and tennis: two complementary sports?

Le padel and can't tennis coexist constructively? That is to say the padel Will he not allow the tennis player to rediscover a love for the volley serve and to resume playing tennis more intensely?

Not for me, it's a scenario that we sell to please the FFT, but in fact, the padel transforms the tennis player into a padel, “Steals” customers from tennis clubs. These are the facts at the moment. I have a personal example. Less than a year ago, I suggested to a tennis club that I could install tennis courts myself. padel in the tennis club, to run my private club padel (with my personal investment). The first response I got was “No, if the padel arrives in our club, half of our tennis players stop playing tennis. We can't let a private person create padel in our tennis club, we have to create it ourselves, otherwise we are dead. ” And they are creating their section padel. Tennis clubs are realizing that padel and tennis are not two mutually-growing friends, but two cannibalistic enemies.

Romain Taupin is an economist, teacher of padel and has already had 10 lives in the middle of padel. As often, he offers us his skills to better understand the news padel… And always in numbers!