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"Babolat Play & Connect" - Worldwide Exclusive Event at the French Open

PARIS, May 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Babolat, international specialized tennis brand, presents the prototype of the first interactive racquet, "Babolat Play & Connect," at the French Open. The "Babolat Play & Connect" is a major innovation with nearly infinite potential. Welcome to the tennis of the future!

Babolat presents the prototype of the first interactive racquet with organized demonstrations featuring amateur players and professional players from Team Babolat including Rafael Nadal (SPA) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) at the French Open. With "Babolat Play & Connect," the specialized racquet sports brand takes tennis into a new era. "It's a major innovation that will create a before and after reference point. 'Babolat Play & Connect' is taking on the challenge of changing the way tennis lovers play and live the game of tennis. This is a connected and communicating racquet that will give players information they can use to improve performance or just have fun sharing with other passionate tennis players," explained Eric Babolat, Chairman and CEO.

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"BABOLAT PLAY & CONNECT" is for all tennis players whether they are beginners, advanced or professional.

Players will be able to use "Babolat Play & Connect" to obtain concrete information about their game. Three major features of "Babolat Play & Connect" include:

  1. INFORM: "Babolat Play & Connect" permits tennis players to obtain pertinent information for analyzing their game. For example, the qualification of strokes (forehand, backhand, serve), ball spin, the position of the ball on the string bed, power during play and service speed are among the types of information that the sensors will relay. Information regarding the duration of the session, the length of play and the intensity of play will also be available. The range of possible data collection is very large.
  2. IMPROVE: Players can set goals, follow and compare data daily, weekly and monthly. The raw data and data points are a new source of information for coaches or instructors and also for players who will be able to analyze their game. Further developments could include: storing the best results and performances (for staying motivated!), receiving tips from a coach or having advice about equipment, etc.
  3. SHARE: The advantage of having a connected racquet is that players can post data on a social network either for challenging their own performance, playing just for fun or for sharing information with friends and other players. There is a whole online community that will be able to show, challenge, advise and compare themselves to others within the community and even to the pro players of Team Babolat.

"In 2004, Babolat developed the Aeropro Drive racquet specifically for the type of game I play. The Babolat Play & Connect racquet is a tremendous tool. Having this new technology to capture information from my matches will mean a new way of analyzing my game." - Rafael Nadal (SPA)

For its technological partner, Babolat has chosen Movea, leader in capturing and analyzing movements. The primary objective was to create a racquet identical to a standard model, with no change to the sensations during play. The racquet handle is equipped with sensors that record the flow of data. Once the training session or match is over, players can transfer and read the captured information on a computer, tablet or smartphone with a wireless connection or USB.

For Babolat, tennis courts around the world-in amateur clubs as well as at the French Open-offer the best laboratories for testing the products of tomorrow. Babolat proposes products that respond to the demands of tennis by observing players, understanding and anticipating their needs.

"Babolat invents the racquet of the future to help all tennis players improve and allow them to have some fun at the same time. I am proud to be a part of this adventure." - Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)

About Babolat

Created in 1875, in Lyon, France, Babolat is the longest-running international company specialized in tennis. Babolat is today number 1 in tennis racquet sales in the United States, France, Spain, Italy and in Japan. Family-run for five generations, Babolat is an innovative brand in the tennis sector providing complete technical equipment for tennis players: racquets, strings, shoes, bags, apparel, accessories and balls. The brand provides strings and racquets for numerous tennis players including Rafael Nadal (SPA), Kim Clijsters (BEL), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA), Li Na (CHN), Andy Roddick (USA) and Julien Benneteau (FRA) (these last two also play with Babolat shoes).

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About Movea SmartMotion®

Movea is the leader in the capture and analysis of movement, software, firmware and IP for the sports and consumer electronics industries. Movea's SmartMotion technology allows the "Babolat Play & Connect" to detect and measure a player's movements.

Movea has developed unique solutions for detection and analysis of movement allowing rapid integration of data capture and movement into products, reducing the risks, costs and production lead-time for our clients and partners to create new interfaces based on movement, bringing added value for the end-user.

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Annie Coghill - +1-303-832-2700, ext. 202 - +1-303-547-6692 (cell)

Robin Ashmore - +1-303-832-2700, ext. 226 -
+1-303-523-5399 (cell)

SOURCE Babolat
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