Slinger Bag, a sports brand focused on innovating game improvement equipment for all ball sports with an initial focus on the global tennis market, today announced an unprecedented multi year, distribution agreement across nine key markets in Europe with global tennis giant, Dunlop. This announcement follows similar global strategic agreements in key tennis markets including Ireland, Japan, UK, Ireland, Switzerland and all four Scandinavian markets, bringing the total value of Slinger Bag’s international distribution partnerships to a cumulative five year retail value of $200 million.
Under the terms of the new agreement, Dunlop International Europe Ltd (Dunlop), whose parent company is Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Japan, will be granted exclusive distribution rights for Slinger Bag’s innovative tennis ball launcher in the core European markets of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg Portugal, Netherlands, and Spain.
“There is no bigger endorsement of how far Slinger Bag has come in a short space of time than this new commercial association with Dunlop, a global giant in tennis with an unequalled market reach and a reputation to match. We have the utmost confidence in the sales and marketing strategy provided by the Dunlop team to rapidly build Slinger Bag brand awareness in the core markets covered by this deal and to activate this partnership through a multitude of traditional grassroots marketing activities allied with aggressive online marketing to European tennis consumers,” says Mike Ballardie, CEO of Slinger Bag. “Without a doubt this is a landmark deal for us and a real vindication of our faith in the long term global growth potential of Slinger Bag.”
This strategic alliance will see the two companies working closely together on a day to day basis to maximise the potential of Slinger Bag across these key territories, with Dunlop leveraging Slinger Bag growth supporting its comprehensive tennis ball market share, brand presence across European tennis and its recognition as a highly respected tennis brand. Dunlop will integrate a dedicated Slinger Bag team to oversee sales and marketing operations, including affiliate marketing programs, major tennis tournaments and events, local federations and organisation partnerships, and in market tennis coaching networks. In addition, Dunlop will adopt Slinger Bag’s preferred direct to consumer go-to-market sales strategy and will establish its own e-commerce platform (to be launched Q1 2021) to complement direct to consumer sales currently made via www.slingerbag.com
Dunlop’s territories represent the largest and most important tennis markets in Europe and include the third and fourth largest tennis markets (Germany and France) globally. In Germany alone, where tennis is one of the most popular sports, over five percent of the population plays tennis with around 3 million players recognised as avid players playing at least 1 time per week. The German Tennis Federation is the largest tennis federation in the world with around 1.4 million members. Across all other markets where Dunlop will operate the avid player number totals around 3.6 million players, making these regular players the core target market for Slinger Bag.
Dunlop is investing heavily into supporting its brand with player sponsorships and strategic partnerships including being the official tennis ball of both the ATP and the Australian Open and is the number one ball brand in Asia, Australasia and Europe. The brand sponsors many of the world’s top professional players including Kevin Anderson, Nikoloz Basilashvili, Roberto Marcora, Michael Mmoh, Jamie Murray, Qiang Wang, and Heather Watson, amongst many others.
Slinger Bag is now widely recognised as the hot new product in Tennis since launching in Spring 2020, and continues to receive widespread critical acclaim. The product has surpassed all order forecasts in each market where the product has already been launched, none more important than the world’s largest tennis market, the USA, where orders have reached $2 million over the past 110 days.
Slinger Bag enables tennis players to get out on court to play at any time without the need to find a playing partner - whether that be at their club, local park, on their driveways or in any other available open space. Slinger Bag is lightweight, wheeled like a trolley bag, and easily transported in the trunk of the smallest saloon or sedan car. It offers players the versatility to store all of their tennis gear including racquets, shoes, towels and accessories. At the average price of two to three performance tennis racquets it is highly affordable when compared to comparable performing traditional ball machines.
Frans Swinkels, Dunlop Managing Director commented, “Following the highly successful launch of Slinger Bag in the USA and intensive product testing by our sales and marketing teams, we are delighted to leverage Dunlop’s network across the largest tennis markets in Europe. Our premium status as the number one ball on the ATP Tour and official ball of the Australian Open, coupled with Slinger Bag’s dynamic and high performance ball launcher is an exciting proposition for the market. The partnership further enhances Dunlop’s complete offering in the tennis ball market as a complete equipment supplier.”
Yasutaka Doko, COO, Dunlop International Europe Ltd. commented, “Having seen the successful introduction of Slinger Bag to the Japanese market and further extensive research in our operations, we are very excited to partner with Slinger Bag. They share our drive and passion for innovation, to offer this revolutionary new tennis product to our customers and consumers across our European territories.”
The Slinger Bag is available to order now - to find out more about Slinger Bag, visit https://slingerbag.com.