Maryland pickleball company Dill Dinkers signs sponsorship deal with professional player

Professional pickleball player Collin Johns has signed a sponsorship[p deal with the Dill Dinkers in Columbia, Maryland. (Courtesy Dill Dinkers)

The Columbia, Maryland-based Dill Dinkers, which is currently franchising its indoor pickleball business, has signed professional pickleball player Collin Johns as a partner to help market the Dill Dinkers brand.

Johns made his professional pickleball debut at the 2019 U.S. Open, where he made the semifinals in Men’s Pro Singles. He subsequently climbed to the top 10 in both singles and doubles with 40 professional titles to date. Johns, as well as his younger brother Ben Johns, has held the top position in Men’s Pro Doubles after the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

Johns will represent the Dill Dinkers brand at nationally televised events, assist in the education of staff and members, serve as an advisor for franchise operators and appear at corporate events and location openings.

Dill Dinkers recently signed a ninth regional developer who has committed to 10 indoor pickleball locations in Northern Virginia. The company currently has four corporate-owned locations in Maryland — in Columbia, Finksburg, North Bethesda and Rockville.

“As someone who grew up in Maryland and has been in the pickleball space for over six years, I can recall when there were only two permanent courts to play at in the entire state,” Johns said. “As a touring professional, I have seen firsthand the need for quality infrastructure to continue and serve the incredible growth taking place in pickleball.”

Dill Dinkers began franchising last autumn and has signed development deals in Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Connecticut, Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

Dill Dinkers — whose name is a nod to a pickle and to the dink shot (a type of return lob in pickleball play) — was founded by husband and wife Will and Denise Richards, who opened their first indoor pickleball facility in 2022. Its locations offer lessons and are each staffed with a professional pickleball director.

Dill Dinkers has partnerships with a number of pickleball companies, including the Rockville-based JOOLA, one of the largest pickleball apparel and accessories companies.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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