View Full Version : What is Prince doing?

Shane Reynolds
07-02-2004, 07:50 PM
Who have they hired in their marketing department? R&D seems to be coming along well and I think we have seen the last MORE racquet in the NXG. In fact, I would bet that the NXG was so far down the pipeline that they pretty much HAD to release it. It's not a bad frame but a Wilson Profile has more feel to it. Anyway, now Prince has added the Turbo Beast in neon lime green and their new promotion can be seen at www.princeshark.com . Why would any sane person who is serious about tennis buy a racquet called the Turbo Shark? Their Force 3 racquets have better names. I kinda like Tour Harrier DB but the word is that this kick-butt frame won't be released in the States. Head, Wilson and Babolat seem to be gaining in dominance on tour, and in all likelihood Dunlop/Slazenger will be a joke in a few years (what a shame). Do you think Prince will fall by the wayside or get their act together?

mary fierce
07-03-2004, 04:52 AM
Prince is as unlikely to fall by the wayside because pros on the tour are more likely to play other racquets as Toyota is likely to fall by the wayside because most NASCAR drivers are driving Chevys and Dodges. The Shark will be a very light 'tweener (under 10 ounces, I've been told) not aimed at the "serious" player. Serious players are not the largest part of the market. I suspect Prince is aiming the Shark at the younger part of the market raised on MTV, Grand Theft Auto, and Ritalin. This segment wants to be overstimulated by wild colors and aggressive names. Personally, I think it's a good business decision for Prince. Having Sharapova, Coria, Ferrero and others, all quite young, on board doesn't hurt either. Going after asian and asian-American pros like Michael Chang and Ai Sugiyama is another example of good marketing sense, as there are literally billions of potential customers in that part of the world where economies are rapidly growing. Do you think Prince could use your help?....where did you get your marketing degree?

Steve Huff
07-03-2004, 06:40 AM
Agree with MF. Even though you may not like the color, there are several people who do. I'm sure this racket will be marketed to compete with rackets like the Wilson Torch, which has a lime green paint job also. It even has some orange on it (orange and lime green? yuck!). But obviously, somebody likes it. I've seen several junior players using it, which was most likely Wilson's target. The first time I saw a bright yellow racket, I thought "no serious player could use that". 2 weeks later I saw Daniel Hbaty using one that was so yellow it blinded me. After hearing Hbaty's interview, I still wasn't convinced that a "serious" player would use one, but there have been a few others. So, if you don't like it, don't buy it. I'm sure you'll eventually get to see one of your opponents using one.

07-03-2004, 07:21 AM
And besides, does the colour really matter. One goes out and get's a new racquet that suits their playing style, not one that necessarily appeals to the eye. Not to mention that the colour doesn't say anything about the pro's racquets because they're all paintjobs anyways.

07-03-2004, 10:38 AM
Have you seen the new add in tennis magazine? They have Coria hitting with an NXG. It doesn't look at all real. It must have been computer generated.

Shane Reynolds
07-04-2004, 05:15 AM
For the record, I didn't mean to hurt Mary's feelings. In fact, yes, I do think I could help Prince out. No, I don't have a marketing degree; I didn't know that was a prerequisite for having an opinion. I do have a degree in Political Science but I don't harbor it against the populace when they vote the same as I do. I was one class shy of a minor in business if it helps "justify" my opinion to you. It just pains me to see stupid ideas from a company I like. How many times have you rolled your eyes when McDonald's announces a new sandwich? Or when the company you work for announces a new "initiative" that you know if not going to help you get your actual work done? BTW, they don't have Chang on board; they dropped him when they were in a financial crunch and he wasn't playing well. Steve, I know what you're saying but I have watched a good deal of high school tennis and I have yet to see a Torch out there. Down, I agree that the color doesn't help one play better but that being said, I would not play with a lime green racquet. Ever. My concern is that Prince will get a reputation like that of Pro Kennex. Now before anyone jumps on that, I'm not talking about what posters on this message board think about PK; I'm talking about the casual tennis player. When that person thinks PK, they think of the cheap shelf at the local Sports Mega Store. I am sure Prince will be thinning their line a bit in the coming months but they seem to have two new racquets (Shark and Beast) that are very similar in weight with odd names. For the record, I hope I'm wrong. Maybe I'll be ordering a Prince Platypus or Anteater soon.

Steve Huff
07-04-2004, 01:38 PM
Shane, I wasn't talking about HS tennis. Really, it's the kids younger than that using them. I've seen about as many Torches in middle schoolers' hands as any other individual model. Many of these guys aren't going to be serioius players. Some may. I think the Torch was designed to bridge the gap between a junior racket and the more serious HS player's racket. I'm not disagreeing with you that it's ugly (in my opinion, anyway), but it's loud, and that's what a lot of kids want.

07-05-2004, 01:39 AM
I think the brand is here to stay. And if they manage to hold onto Sharapova (and give her something that is not a paint job)...


El Diablo
07-05-2004, 04:24 AM
The sales guy at the best proshop in my area tells me the racquet he's moving the fastest is the NXG MP right now....graphics notwithstanding.

07-06-2004, 10:06 AM
I swear by Prince, been using it since i started playing tennis 15 years ago. Used it in HS, college when my team had other sponsorships & even now that I'm an instructor (on the side); I won't use anything on a regular basis but Prince. I can honestly say I've demoed everything Prince has had to offer in OS racquets (I'm just not a MP user), since 1998. BUT, I think they do a poor/terrible job of marketing & selling their racquets. You go to the local proshops & the one specialty racquet store (not sporting goods store) in my area & they want you to buy everything but the Prince racquets no matter what the pricetag. I just don't understand it. I think Prince should have sold the NXG in both the Experimental & 'regular' paintjobs, it would have been a terrific marketing ploy, even if they charged 2 different prices. Ok enough babbling on.

07-06-2004, 02:34 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn' the Turbo Beast just the Scream repainted? And we all thought Prince couldn't do a more "in your face" paint scheme than the Scream. :)

07-06-2004, 03:35 PM
After comparing specs it sure does seem like it doesn't it?

07-06-2004, 04:23 PM
Looks like they got Sharapova using the "Experimental" version of the Shark already. That marketing ploy worked pertty well for the NXG. Also, I saw all the Control DB's on clearance sale at a local tennis shop. Seems like there should be a replacement soon, if it's not the Harrier.

07-06-2004, 04:45 PM
More power to the Prince team. With an MBO, its probably safe to assume everyone has a stake in making the new company a success (stock options,bonuses, etc.) Privately-held companies that are performance driven are almost always more focused and aggressive than divisions of big companies.

Lets cheer on the new world at Prince and hope it leads to not only marketing innovation, but new product innovation as well. The current state of incremental innovation (read as nCode, V Engine and MORE) is just plain boring.

I apologize in advance to those who think the Pro Staff 85 was the pinnacle of racquet technology. Just wait until you are over 40 and several surgeries on in life. :)

Shane Reynolds
07-20-2004, 05:43 PM
FYI (and this is posted elsewhere as well), I have confirmed with Prince that they have no plans to bring the Tour Harrier DB to the USA. That's a shame because the Diablo is killing me, I did not like the NXG, and I have no intention of playing with a racquet with the word "Turbo" on it in a cartoonish font. I'm sure some will say that only the performance matters, not the looks, but let me ask you - did you have that attitude when you picked out your last car? For what racquets cost nowadays, I don't think I'm out of line to expect a handsome paintjob along with all that cutting-edge technology under the hood (said with tongue in cheek).

El Diablo
07-21-2004, 06:21 AM
I think there's a grieving going on here for the "old" Prince that gave us the original oversize, the Woodie, the Graphite, the Chang, the Precision Response, the Warrior and other memorable and very playable frames. Nothing in recent years has the straightforward elegance of those racquets. Wilson is still able to generate fairly straightforward racquets like Tour 90/95, HPS 6.1 and Surge that stand on their own merits without gimmick; Prince hasn't done this for some time.

Kick Serve
07-21-2004, 06:39 AM
I like the all black look of the new Prince Shark. Unfortunately, the specs are way off for my game. I hope Prince can regain some of it's old glory. I'm not a fan of any of their latest "More" racquets. Their only saving grace is that they still produce the Graphite Original.