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Prince and Viking Off to a Strong Start Since Announcing Acquisition

Bordentown, NJ - April 4, 2008 — It has only been a few weeks since the platform tennis leader Viking Athletics became the latest member of the Prince Sports, family. Already, the partnership that brought together two like-minded companies committed to providing players of all court sports the best quality products and customer service has offered many reasons to celebrate.

Not only was the transition of Viking under the Prince umbrella a truly smooth process, but the seamless integration enabled the extensive Prince sales force the opportunity to begin selling Viking products the day after the deal was finalized. Hitting the ground running, and with the Prince organization invigorated with the addition of this infectiously passionate brand, Viking headed into the APTA Nationals in Rochester, New York last month with a renewed spirit and energy.

The first national tournament as a Prince company could not have gone better. With the largest tournament presence in the company’s history on hand, Viking players put on an impressive showing. Brian Uilhein and Dave Keevins won the men’s national open championship using Viking ZONE paddles, while Lauren Zink won the women’s national open championship using her Viking White Lightning.

In fact, of the 8 semi finalists in the men’s draw, 7 of them were Viking players:
Dan Rothschild - Viking OZ
John Schmitt - Viking ZONE
Flip Goodspeed - Viking XL
Dave Keevins - Viking ZONE
Brian Uihlein - Viking ZONE
Scott Estes - Viking PRO V1
Mike Cochrane - Viking Ignite

On the women’s side, 5 of 8 players use Viking:
Annica vanStarrenburg - Viking Ignite
Amy Shea - Viking OZ
Lauren Zink - Viking White Lightning
Kerri Delmonico - Viking ZONE
Aila Main - Viking ZONE

“We are off and running and extremely pleased with how the integration process has gone,” said Scott Winters, VP of Indoor Court and Paddle Sports at Prince. “With the combination of David’s help and the passionate team here at Prince, we are optimistic about achieving the goals we have set for the brand. We want to congratulate all of those who competed in Rochester, look forward to working with each and every one of them and keeping the momentum going full steam ahead.”

In addition to all of the success on the court, the company also had reason to cheer as Mr. Platform, Viking Founder David Kjeldsen, was inducted into the APTA Hall of Fame during Nationals. One of four 2008 inductees, Kjeldsen was honored for his unparalleled commitment to the sport and his continuous drive to create the best products for the game. In addition to Kjeldsen, Nationals’ Tournament Chairman Fritz Odenbach and living legends Flip Goodspeed and Scott Mansager were also inducted.

“The past few weeks have been such a joy, I feel as though I am constantly walking around constantly with a huge smile on my face,” said Kjeldsen. “Of course it is an honor to be inducted into such esteemed company and to be recognized for my love and passion for this great sport, but I am even more excited about seeing our players do so well at Nationals and thinking about the future of Viking Athletics under the Prince roof. The last few weeks, getting to know, working with, and collaborating with the team at Prince - from the warehouse team to the customer service staff, it is no wonder they are making the strides they are in all their sports. The transition was so natural. They are extremely passionate, creative people who care deeply about growing the platform and delivering the best products, customer service and programs. It bodes extremely well for platform and paddle players worldwide.”

Moving forward, Viking Athletics will retain its name and will continue to conduct business in the same fashion platform tennis fans and players have come to expect. Look for the new 2008-09 product line to be launched at the beginning of August 2008.

 

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