SMPA at Microsoft Ignite 2022

Introduced Pickleball to people from around the world

The Seattle Metro Pickleball Association showcased the state sport of pickleball at Microsoft Ignite last week. The global event, launched in six languages, brings together product experts and partners from around the world to discuss the latest innovations shaping the future of tech. This year it was back, with 3,500 people uniting at the Seattle Convention Center in downtown Seattle.

Microsoft asked the Seattle Metro Pickleball Association to be a partner in showcasing the flavors of the Pacific Northwest, and what sport is more representative of the Pacific Northwest than pickleball, invented on Bainbridge Island. When it comes to pickleball, Washington has many firsts. Among these, the state can boast the first composite pickleball paddle, the first pickleball tournaments and the first retailers.

Our friends at Pickleball Central once again supported us to make the event successful. Nicole Smith, Director of Retail Operations, provided a display of ten pickleball paddles, including an original wooden paddle. Also on display was an official state sport paddle, signed by the governor and others at the state sport bill signing on Bainbridge Island. SMPA Director Gordon Sata brought an impressive display of maps showing pickleball court locations throughout Seattle. Director Amy Greger was on hand, along with SMPA volunteers, to tell participants about the Washington State pickleball license plate bill and petition, the first of its kind in the United States. Pickleball instructor Rick Bomar, aka Pickleball Rick of Marysville, and Devin Schmidt, Head Pro at Harbor Square Athletic Club in Edmonds, volunteered their time and expertise to engage and educate attendees about pickleball.

Joining the SMPA and Pickleball Central on the main convention floor was a Sasquatch, Woodinville Valley Farms, Frans Chocolates, Pike Brewing Beers, the Blitz Seahawks mascot, Blue Thunder, and the famous fish throwers of Pike Place Market. Sasquatch and Blitz spent quite a bit of time in our area, posing for photos and dinking back and forth.

The Seattle Metro Pickleball Association would like to extend a special thank you to all the volunteers who made this event a success. Look for us (and maybe Sasquatch) at future Microsoft events.