By The Chicago Egotist / /

Crush Yard sends “Dear John” letters to bowling, golf, softball, and tennis in humorous spots from Slugger Creative.

New pickleball restaurant Crush Yard, opening this spring in Mount Pleasant, SC, will take on favored pastimes, and break up with them, in “Dear John” ads throughout the Super Bowl. The brightly colored, text-driven ads from Slugger Creative will run in the Charleston market and are designed to stand out against the high-gloss, celebrity-packed commercials for major brands.

“Dear Bowling, we have to talk,” starts one spot, scrolling neon-colored text against the screen. “There’s someone else. And honestly, it’s not your fault. Look, we had a great run. Thanks for all the calories you helped us burn. Both of them. Oh, and you can keep the shoes. Sincerely, Crush Yard.”

Meanwhile, the tennis ad says, “It’s not you, it’s us. We so admire your ‘social standing.’ Your snazzy shoulder sweaters. And your rigid rules. Who else would think ‘love’ means ‘zero?’ Also, we don’t need your courts anymore. So, buh-bye. Sincerely, Crush Yard.”

Similarly, the golf ad says, “way to charge a ton of money and take a ton of time while frustrating the crap out of everyone.” And the softball ad complains, “you only see us once a week, after work. Plus, there’s 8 other guys that have to be there.”

“We’re planting a flag where no competitors have,” said Andrew Ladden, CEO of Slugger Creative, who has taken on the role of CMO for Crush Yard. “The entertainment category is exploding with pickleball destinations, but all you hear from the brands in this space seems to be Dad jokes about the pickle in the name. It gets very old, very fast. And it stands for nothing.”

“We are fully embracing the passion our customers have for this new national obsession,” added Ladden. “And we’re doing it with a little snark. It’s kind of like pickleball fanatics punching back at society after years of eyerolls and saying ‘sorry folks, we don’t need your approval. In fact, we don’t need you at all, so, see ya.’”

Crush Yard will compete for attention with simple design, compelling colors, a bouncy backing track and a healthy dose of sarcasm. “We’ll make a splash during the Super Bowl. And we didn’t need half of Hollywood to be involved.”

The “Dear John” series will get a volume of new treatments throughout the spring as Slugger takes on such activities as hiking, skiing, and basketball. 

Crush Yard is advertising ahead of opening to boost memberships. Members will be able to play on its eight indoor courts anytime during the week, regardless of whether they’re dining. The startup plans to expand into other parts of the Southeast, starting with Florida. Investors include NFL greats Ron Gronkowski and Brian Dawkins.


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