France’s Babolat will start selling a version of Piq’s wearable multi-sport sensor that is customized for tennis players, and will display the Babolat brand. The deal is part of Piq’s long-term plan to partner with one big brand name in 24 different sports to sell its wearable sport platform.
The deal comes just a few months after Piq landed a $5.5 million investment led by Foxconn to accelerate its growth. Piq was founded almost two years ago by Cédric Mangaud, a well-known French entrepreneur who sold his last company to HTC and spent several years as an executive at the company before striking out to form his latest venture.
Babolat, which makes some of the world’s most popular tennis rackets and other gear, is no stranger to connected sports gadgets. Last year, the company introduced its own connected tennis racket that contains sensors to track play and performance.
Now the company is shifting a bit to work with Piq, which has developed a sensor-based device that can be worn on the wrist or ankle. Since it’s worn on the wrist, the device can also be used with any racket.
“This is really ideal,” Mangaud said. “We bring the technology. They bring the sport.”
Consumers will be able to choose a Babolat-branded version for $89, which doesn’t include a display screen and is customized purely to monitor tennis play. Or, they can get the Piq-branded version, which includes a display and can be adapted to use while playing other sports.