Padel Trend Expo’s Milanese catwalk success

Renowned as one of the major fashion capitals of the world, Milan is also carving out a reputation as a padel hotspot. It recently hosted Padel Trend Expo and The Bandeja’s man-on-the-ground Lee McLaughlan was there to find out more.

While the city’s stunning Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II boasts the world’s best designers (including Versace and Prada which have their own padel rackets), the padel court is quickly becoming the new catwalk in this sporting city.

Having hosted the Milano Premier Padel P1 event in December with the best players in the sport, padel was again back in the spotlight with the second Padel Trend Expo.

Having taken the plunge last year with the first dedicated event for padel, the expo has built on its inaugural success, outperforming KPIs by 20% or more. There were 120 stands (up 20%), 145 brands (up 28%) and more than 22,000 visitors (up 23%). These increases were definitely worthy of popping open a few bottles of prosecco in celebration.

“We are thrilled with this second edition, both for the growth in numbers and, above all, for the quality of the visitors – many of whom came from England, France, Sweden, the United States and China,” said Luigi Spera, Director General of Padel Trend Expo. “The audience, exhibitors and sponsors, along with FITP (Italian Tennis & Padel Federation) and the Municipality of Milan fully embraced the spirit of our initiative, which encourages us to do even better in the future.”

Lee McLaughlan (right) with movement therapist Marco Baldini.


The Expo is unique in being a blend of both trade and consumer. For those in the padel business, everything from court construction to covers, flooring, lockers etc was there. 

And if securing development site opportunities on land is an issue, why not consider putting your court on water! Ville Leisti, of Floating Padel, saw plenty of interest in their business. He said: “I like this show, it’s good to have all the people around padel in the same place and we are a young company with a unique product and it’s important for us to participate and spread the word of what we actually do.”

For Luca Bargagli, of Spanish racket manufacturer Sane, there were plenty of positives from the Expo, particularly with the larger racket brands choosing not to exhibit. However, creating a dedicated trade-only day would be advantageous, he felt.

“We knew we were going to have a very good week as we were here last year,” Luca said. “We had high expectations and they were met. Saturday was very busy with a lot of private clients and Friday was more B2B with contacts with new clubs and people interested in producing rackets with us. We also had exhibitions on the court with the new collection.

“It was a good thing that there are very few of the big brands here as we can showcase our quality and there’s no other brands taking away the attention. I think this is the most important trade fair in the world and it’s the place to be.”

GB's fledging adaptive padel team was there to participate in the Inclusive Padel Tour. Pictured (from left) Luke Dolphin, Jack Binstead and Rob Teague.
The Davis Cup, currently held by Italy, on display at the Expo.

Padel Products

The Expo was a real Aladdin’s cave of consumables, dominated by racket and apparel brands. There was a chance to consider your next padel trip, try products on court, investigate the latest training aids or just catch the action on the show courts, with many of the world’s leading players there to entertain and share their skills in clinics.

The Expo also hosted the opening event of the Inclusive Padel Tour, which featured the UK’s Jack Binstead, Luke Dolphin and Rob Teague all competing.

In the thirst for knowledge, there was the Inspiration Hub, which covered several topics including the first National Conference on Padel Traumatology and the Club of the Future. The one drawback to these – there were only in Italian.

Finally, the unexpected star of the show had to be the presence of the Davis Cup. Yes, it’s a tennis trophy but with Italy having won it last year the FITP saw sense to bring it to the show – attracting thousands of photos (who knew it was so huge!). 🎾

The Dragon Net training aid in action.
The latest Sane rackets.
by vp, the padel racket brand of former Dutch footballer Robin van Persie.