In April 2021, Paddle Candy collaborated with the Ellen DeGeneres Show to create three limited edition pickleball paddles that would support the nonprofit organization The Ellen Fund. The Ellen Fund supports global conservation efforts for endangered species, and it was created in 2018 as a gift for Ellen DeGeneres. The organization inspires hope, providing money and logistical support for conservation and social impact.
In the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, DeGeneres and her wife started playing pickleball for fun. (Enough to cause a lower back injury in May 2020.) The passion for the sport led to building a court near her production stage and involving pickleball products in her highly-watched holiday giveaways. Combining her passion for pickleball and her passion for environmental conservation seemed like a natural fit, especially for a brand that already had a paddle dedicated to animal conservation for sea turtles.
Each pickleball paddle in this collaboration features two gorillas, a nod to the gorilla conservation that originally inspired DeGeneres’ activism. The paddles also feature plants, which are also an important part of environmental protection. Outside of those similarities, the paddles are in three different color schemes, drawing inspiration from sunrises and sunsets.
These paddles, featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show on April 27, 2021, were sold exclusively through the Ellen Shop. Portions of the paddle sales went directly to The Ellen Fund. The paddles were a limited edition creation, so they are no longer available to purchase, but they were an important part of the building of Paddle Candy’s mission to think outside of the line to showcase personality and passion.