Former Dallas Mavericks EVP/CRO and Major League Rugby Commissioner George Killebrew were named chief revenue officer (CRO) of the United Pickleball Association (UPA), the Carvana PPA Tour, and the Major League Pickleball holding company.

As CRO, Killebrew will oversee the teams responsible for sponsorship sales, on-site revenue (ticket sales and amateur registrations) and sponsorship activation. He has consulted with the PPA Tour since October 2023 but has formalized his role with the UPA.

“I have been consulting with the PPA Tour and its leadership since October, and I am blown away by the potential in this fast-growing sport,” said Killebrew. Already, we are experiencing double-digit growth in our revenue areas, and we are just at the very beginning. This Is an incredible American and global sports story unfolding right in front of our eyes, and I am delighted to accept the role of CRO to work with Founder and CEO Connor Pardoe and his leadership team. I, too, am addicted to the sport along with the 40 million people that are also now playing the game.”

“George brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in spearheading business opportunities in both established and emerging sports,” said Carvana PPA Tour Founder and CEO Connor Pardoe. “His work to this point has been instrumental in guiding a path forward, and his continued involvement in a permanent position will be exceedingly valuable in helping grow the UPA and pickleball as a whole.”

At the Mavericks, Killebrew led the tickets sales group, sponsorship team and sponsor activation group, and he reportedly “consistently earned top honors and awards from the NBA for excellence throughout his career.” And, under his leadership, the Mavericks were “consistently ranked in the top tier of revenue generation within the NBA.” He was one of Mark Cuban’s chief business officers for 20 years.

As Commissioner of Major League Rugby, Killebrew led efforts to add new expansion teams, increased sponsorships from “only barter deals to over $1 million in his first year and secured an all-encompassing TV contract with Fox Sports, ensuring the MLR Finals would air on Fox National and an additional 24 matches each season on FS1 and FS2.”  Most importantly, through Killebrew’s efforts alongside MLR ownership and USA Rugby, the U.S. “won the bid to host the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cup for the very first time.

The United Pickleball Association (UPA) is the parent company of the Professional Pickleball Association (Carvana PPA Tour), Major League Pickleball (MLP by Margaritaville) and the United Pickleball State Championship Series.

Images courtesy UPA