A global stage: Partnering to grow an emerging performance sport

Announcing our partnership with Alejandro Galán

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Guillaume Pousaz
June 18, 2024
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A global stage:  Partnering to grow an emerging performance sport

We at Checkout.com love Padel!

And we’re excited to partner with Alejandro Galán, a world-class athlete and professional padel player known for his humility, innate talent, dedication, and tactical brilliance. Together, we have an ambitious goal to elevate padel, advocating for its inclusion in the 2032 Olympic Games.

It’s an inclusive accessible sport played in pairs, uniting players of all ages and skill levels. Though relatively easy to pick up for beginners, just like with payments, it can be very difficult to master, offering depth and complexity for advanced players. It’s a fast-paced, exhilarating sport that is highly engaging for spectators. And with 38% of players already being women, it’s the perfect candidate for the games. 

From the beginning, we have championed the underdog, supporting emerging initiatives when others doubted their potential. When we entered the payments industry 15 years ago, fintech was still an emerging term.  Few recognized its importance or the value it could bring. Yet, against all odds, we persevered, and today we have become one of the category leaders in global digital payments, powering many of the brands that touch people’s lives every day. From inspiring curiosity with Sony to making everyday purchases easier with Klarna, simplifying life for business with Docusign, and helping people go anywhere and get anything with Uber Eats, we showed that with the right mindset, we could achieve what others told us would be impossible.

Today, nothing has changed. We still plan with the same rigour and determination—an insatiable conviction to help our merchants stay ahead.

Why padel?

Success in padel, much like in business, hinges on building the right partnerships. Optimal performance can only be achieved through meticulous preparation and effective communication. It's not just about individual skills; it's about the combined strengths of two players working together. 80% of padel is positioning—anticipating the opponent's moves and positioning oneselves correctly in return. Always a step ahead.  

The game’s pace is relentless and reactive, requiring agility to stay on top. Padel is about consistency in performance; points are often very long, and the winners are those who constantly push themselves to avoid unforced errors. Mirroring our obsessive attention to detail, excellence, and precision. The game is technical and complex. Unlike tennis where the ball goes out and is lost, padel offers far more opportunity to keep the game in play, akin to every opportunity businesses have to optimise every transaction to stay ahead of their competition. 

At Checkout.com, we believe that success for our merchants hinges on the same principles as padel—strategic coordination, complementary skills, and constant communication. Both require strategic thinking, continuous improvement, and a relentless drive to push boundaries to achieve peak performance.

Why Alejandro Galán?

Alejandro Galán has dominated the padel world, holding the top spot in 2020, 2021, and 2022, and winning over 80% of his matches in more than 30 tournaments globally. His dedication and skill on the court resonate deeply with us at Checkout.com, where we are committed to improving payment performance for our merchants. Ale embodies humility, intelligence, and unmatched technical prowess. He plays with a unique blend of elegance and tactical brilliance, always staying several steps ahead of his opponents. 

Many of us at Checkout.com share a profound passion for padel. Ale doesn't just play the game; he lives it, driven by continuous improvement. Every training session and match is a testament to his commitment to excellence. He never settles, knowing there is always a higher level to achieve. Ale inspires us. This same dedication to improvement drives us at Checkout.com as we obsess over payments and push tirelessly to deliver the best performance and outcomes for our customers striving to be better every day. Just as Ale cannot achieve success without his partner on the court, our customers need partners they can trust to place their interests ahead of their own.

Aspiring for Olympic status 

This partnership with Ale is more than a collaboration; it is a testament to our shared values and commitment to the growth of padel. Together, we have ambitious goals to elevate the sport and achieve Olympic recognition. Our renewed call for padel to become an Olympic sport by the 2032 Brisbane Games reflects our dedication to this cause.

Padel, which originated in Mexico in the 1960s, has grown rapidly, becoming most popular in Spain and expanding globally. It’s a fun, fast game, and new players are joining the movement every day. In 2022 alone, 6,600 new padel courts opened in Europe, with numbers expected to double in 2026. The sport is loved by players of all ages and demographics, with 38% of global players today being women. It’s a highly community driven and inclusive sport. Yet it is not currently eligible to be played in the Olympic Games because it does not comply with the 4th criterion of the Olympic Charter stating that the sport be played in a minimum of 75 countries and four continents in the men's category, and 40 countries and three continents in the women’s category. 

Checkout.com has pledged to do its part to change this and ensure the sport’s inclusion in the 2032 Games by encouraging its take-up across its 50+ countries through the opening of Padel Academies. We are creating padel sessions for our global merchant community to drive awareness of the game, increase adoption across geographies, and help those who play, improve their game. 

At Checkout.com, our mission is to enable our customers and their communities to thrive in the digital economy by helping them stay ahead. We operate with the same attributes that make a padel champion: precision, agility, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Our success is built on a foundation of relentless improvement, strategic partnerships, and the constant pursuit of excellence. We continuously fine-tune our technologies and services to meet the evolving needs of our clients and the broader market.

Thank you, Ale, for your partnership. Together, we will elevate padel to the Olympic stage.

Guillaume Pousaz

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June 18, 2024 10:40
June 18, 2024 10:40