Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Prince And Wii: Getting Players Back In The Game?


For those of you who are living under a rock, the Nintendo Wii is pretty much taking over the world. And frankly, I'm not sure I'm going to be writing this blog after Oct. 22, because the next night "Wii Playground" comes out. Yes, folks it's dodgeball and tetherball on the Wii.

But today, we're talking about the smart folks at Prince, who are going to do well capitalizing on the popularity of Wii Tennis, one of the console's most popular games. The tennis racket makers announced today that they have partnered with a company called Qualtech Global to make a frame that the controller fits around that looks like a racket.

Like "Guitar Hero" lovers that jam with replica guitars, Wii Tennis players can now actually feel like they're playing tennis. The rackets--which feature Prince branding--will be available in many colors and will hit Circuit City shelves on Nov. 15 at a retail price of $14.99. Since any company can make a third party accessory without Nintendo's permission, I think that more companies should think about doing this. Getting your brand on a video game controller might be the best product placement this world has to offer and it really comes at no cost.

“Even before the first racquets went to production, people started jockeying to get them for themselves, their kids or their friends who 'just had to have them,'" said Linda Glassel, vice president of marketing for Prince, in a statement. “Offering these racquets makes perfect sense for us. We are not only providing a really fun, useful accessory to the Wii user, but encouraging additional exposure for the brand and the sport as well. We hope that many of the people who find us in the video game section, will head to the sporting goods section or their local tennis shop and pick up a Prince racquet, either for the first time or to get back in the game."

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