Slinger Bag has announced a landmark deal for its game-changing tennis ball launcher with Dunlop, appointing the Sumitomo Rubber subsidiary as its exclusive distributor for several years in France, Germany, Austria, Italy, the Benelux countries, Spain and Portugal. With this distribution contract, which will essentially double its international exposure, and the others that it has signed so far, Slinger Bag has so far secured total retail sales of $200 million for the next five years.
As previously reported, Mike Ballardie, the former Prince executive who runs Slinger Bag, has already signed distribution deals in Europe covering the U.K., Ireland, Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries. It has also signed important contracts in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and other parts of the world.
Dunlop is regarded as a key partner for its extensive sales network in Europe, where it ranks as the leading supplier of tennis balls. The brand also has a strong presence in the tennis racquet segment in Germany, where more than 5 percent of the population plays tennis, including 3 million people who play at least once a week.
Slinger Bag and Dunlop have agreed to activate their partnership through various traditional grassroots marketing activities coupled with “aggressive” online marketing. Dunlop will set up a dedicated sales and marketing team for Slinger Bag for a presence at major tennis tournaments and relations with local federations and tennis coaches. It will also establish its own e-commerce platform, to be launched in the first quarter of 2021 to complement the e-commerce operations of www.slingerbag.com.
In response to strong demand for its innovative technology, first launched in the U.S. last spring, Slinger Bag is expanding its relations with Chinese suppliers to triple its manufacturing capacity by next March. In the U.S., orders from its website have reached $2 million in the past 110 days, with some customers having to wait some 30 days for deliveries. Some foreign distributors are already sold out of their initial stocks.