Taking advantage of the eyes on the U.S. Open, Prince Global Sports, of Bordentown, announced Wednesday an alliance with The Lalonde Group to grow the Prince brand in Canada.Mike Ballardie, who took over as CEO of Prince in February, said the agreement is the latest move for the company that emerged from bankruptcy in 2012.
“I am delighted to have reached agreement with Rick (Lalonde) and his Lalonde Group team,” Ballardie said in a release. “The market knowledge, experience and leadership that Rick will provide to the Prince Canada business will ensure that our common objective to position Prince as a premium, performance specialist brand and to deliver the highest levels of local service to specialty retailers and club pros will be quickly realized.”
Lalonde welcomed Prince’s emphasis in Canada.
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“Canadian consumers have been deprived of the opportunity to access Prince over the past two years … this is the optimum time to bring Prince back,” he said.
Players using Prince racquets have had a solid Open, with No. 4 seed David Ferrer reaching the men’s quarterfinals and unseeded Daniela Hantuchova reaching the women’s quarters. Of course, Prince’s top players are the men’s doubles tandem of Bob and Mike Bryan, who have reached the semifinals in their attempt to complete a grand slam.
Ballardie, who has undertaken a series of reviews since taking over the company, said before the Open started that there’s no better time to shine.
“It’s the moment in the calendar when anyone who is interested in tennis is engaged in tennis,” he said. “It’s critical that we engage in the right way.”