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Prince Furthers Company’s Commitment to Product Innovation and Validation

Bordentown, NJ – April 3, 2008 –- There are many factors that play a role in a company’s experiencing 37 out of 40 months with growth and continuing to gain market share. However, the biggest factor is ensuring that the best and right product continuously gets made and ends up in the hands, on the feet or on the body of players. To do that, and to do it better than anyone else, makes all the difference. Prince continues to be the leader when it comes to performance technology, innovation and research and development and has, in the last few years, brought to market some of the most popular new products. Now, as a sign of its further commitment to developing superior products, the Company has hired Kevin Stayart to oversee product playtesting and validation for Prince’s tennis products in the United States.

This newly formed position is designed specifically to take Prince’s product validation process to the next level – examining every minute detail in order to ensure that Prince players continue to have the most elite performance equipment available and every opportunity to perform to their best ability. While components of this job have been conducted previously by various people within the organization, with a full pipeline of its most ground-breaking innovations on the way, Prince felt it necessary to bring on someone who could be completely dedicated to managing and improving upon the Company’s already stellar testing and product validation process.

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone like Kevin joining our team in this capacity. As we continue to grow and look to bring new materials, innovative technologies and product designs to market, it is imperative that we have someone of Kevin’s caliber ensuring that each product is thoroughly evaluated with the right player groups and providing valuable insight, and in some cases the necessary criticism, needed to perfect our products,” said Howard Lay, VP of Product Management for Tennis Hardgoods at Prince. “Kevin’s extensive background in tennis and his technical knowledge will be a big asset as he enhances the Company’s playtesting process in the US, prepares stringing instructions, collaborates on machine and string development, advises on technical questions, and tracks quality issues.”

Stayart, a lifelong tennis player, attended the University of Illinois - where he was a team stringer and technical consultant for both the men’s and women’s tennis teams. He has experience as a teaching pro at the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort in Longboat Key, FL where he also worked with Bollettieri’s IMG sports training academy and was an Assistant Director for the Nike Tennis Camp in Champaign, IL, where he successfully managed their programs. Kevin comes to Prince from Wilson where he was most recently part of their customer service team.

In his new role, Kevin will utilize his product expertise to manage all phases of the product validation and playtesting process for Prince. He will collaborate closely with the Company’s R&D and Product Management teams on testing methodology, competitive product selection, timing, and analysis of results overseeing demand that the highest quality, best equipment is produced and tested before being brought to market.

“Players have choices when it comes to choosing a racquet, a set of string, even a new overgrip. Today’s players are more informed than ever before, they do their research and want to know that what they spend their money on and what they carry in their bag is the very best in terms of quality and performance. It is no secret in the industry that Prince makes the very best quality products and has leaders in R&D and innovation. My job will be to make sure that when a player goes into a store – they will know that by picking up Prince, they are getting a product that has been thoroughly vetted, properly tested and completely validated with similar and appropriate player types before it reached the shelf.”

Kevin graduated with a degree in International Studies with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Illinois.

 

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