INTERVIEW: Jay Livingston; Shake Shack Chief Marketing Officer


The Shake Shack Pickleball Club kicked off its 10-city tour in San Diego at the Barnes Tennis Center on April 1. The restaurant chain is joining forces with Tennis Channel as well as Toss and Spin to deliver a day of interactive pickleball events nationwide.

The restaurant chain opted into the fastest growing sport in the United States after seeing the large number of customers dine at their establishments after playing pickleball on weekends and evenings in their local communities.

“Pickleball allows folks to both get in it, in a little bit more accessible way if they didn’t grow up playing tennis,” said Shake Shack Chief Marketing Officer Jay Livingston. “Also, if you really want to take it far, it can be played at a very high level. So there is just a lot of range to the game.”

Toss and Spin is providing the on-court guidance to players of beginner, intermediate and advanced levels with instructional clinics, plus a round robin tournament to round out the day in each city. Music and Shake Shack beverages compliment the vibrant atmosphere on court as participants learn the game.

San Diego’s BTC proved to be a perfect location to open the tour as the award-winning facility hosts tennis, pickleball and padel events throughout the year. This includes the inaugural WTA 500 tournament last year in addition to being the regular host of the USTA Billie Jean King Girls' 16 & 18 National Championships.

"We are so excited to have hosted the Shake Shack Pickleball Club at the Barnes Tennis Center, as we believe in building community and partnering with brands that have a vision of giving back and supporting the development of youth programming,” Barnes Tennis Center CEO and General Manager Ryan Redondo said.

“We believe that bringing racquet sports and events to the Barnes Tennis Center brings awareness to our mission of Youth Tennis San Diego, a 501c3 non-profit organization. Youth access to tennis and breaking barriers by providing more opportunities for our youth is our mission and we believe that growing Padel and Pickleball in an inclusive way drives us closer to that vision."

The tour is slated to also make stops in Miami, Washington, D.C, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Denver, Dallas and Los Angeles before concluding at the New York City Pride event.