The game of Pickleball is not new by any means, in fact, your parents and grandparents likely enjoyed an occasional “dink” before it took the world by storm in 2020. The origins of the game remain an old wives’ tale, traced back to a few dads and a pup named Pickles who was notorious for retrieving loose balls, but one thing that isn’t up for debate is the growth of the game, which was named the fastest growing sport in the U.S. in SFIA’s 2020 growth report. Thanks in part to people looking to stay active amidst the pandemic, the sport has evolved into a cross-generational phenomenon, bringing a sense of community to a time of great division and isolation across the world.
Pickleball and its Community Building Culture
If the pandemic taught us anything it’s that no amount of virtual game nights, wine Wednesdays or Zoom parties could ever replace the sense of unity that authentic face-to-face interaction cultivates among us. Why is that? Humans inherently crave a sense of purpose and belonging, and communities provide that for us, built upon common interests and shared by a group of diverse people brought together as one. We are all a part of communities, big and small, starting with neighborhood pickleball clubs that eventually encompass entire nations all united by one common interest. The isolation of 2020 elicited a need for fraternity among neighbors like never before, strained individuals were forced to reevaluate the importance of community in their everyday lives.
This is when Pickleball saw a huge surge in popularity, due in large part to the egalitarian nature of the game. The small court and two- bounce rule require more finesse and strategy than exertion, appealing to a wide range of people based on age and athletic threshold. The game is also played in a rotation, encouraging the integration of varying age groups and skill levels into one level playing field. Think of it like The Breakfast Club, Pickleball has created a space where everyone is welcome, making way for the emergence of new communities of Pickleball lovers across the world.
Civile and Defining the Growing Industry of Pickleball
In early 2020, Aubri Steele, founder and CEO of Civile, did just that. What began as a fun way to pass the time, ultimately stirred up a community that would change her life and the lives of everyone involved. Pickleball was the catalyst that reunited her entire community and sparked her entrepreneurial journey with Civile. The nature of the game allowed friends, family and neighbors, young and old, to share a common source of respite, fostering the unification of the community in a time of isolation and tension. Aubri recalled a sense of togetherness that she felt the world had been missing when she played the game. She saw how despite differences, in age, opinions or values, Pickleball created a space where those things were neither here nor there. This is where Civile was truly born, “Civile reminds us all that no matter which side of the line you play on, be civil and play nicely,” says Steele.
Launched in early 2021, Civile brought forth a unique opportunity to create a meaningful legacy brand that would serve as a metaphorical boat, carrying friends and family to a better destination. Inspired by the mantra, “a rising tide lifts all ships.” Civile was created to unite the community through a shared purpose. The mission being to define the emerging culture of Pickleball through the modernization of the fashion aesthetic and set a tone for the inclusivity and community-centric culture of the sport.
A female-founded, female-led, American-made brand, Civile’s mission is a testament to the popularity of the game across all generations. With the sport in its defining stages, Civile aims to champion women young and old as mothers, daughters, sisters and wives through timeless apparel that not only looks sleek but is also functional, comfortable and flattering, something that has never been done before in the history of the game.