DELRAY BEACH, FLA. — Keeping in line with its corporate partnership ethos, SMS Audio, the audio manufacturer helmed by rapper 50 Cent, announced it is has entered into a strategic alliance with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
As part of the agreement, SMS Audio is now the official headphones of Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, as well as of the Official Disney Fan Club. It will also be a sponsor of “Star Tours - The Adventures Continue” attraction at Hollywood Studios, and a sponsor of the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend and Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort.
This partnership will enable SMS to offer official Disney incentives to retailers, Brian Nohe, SMS Audio president, told TWICE.
“A lot of the assets that come with this [deal] include the ability to offer spiffs to retailers for rooms and passes to the park,” he said.
SMS Audio’s products are currently sold throughout the resorts, and the new Second Edition Star Wars collection will be available later this spring. Products will also be featured at Disney’s annual Star Wars Weekends, and SMS will participate in the D23 Expo 2015: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event, held this summer at California’s Anaheim Convention Center.
Nohe said the company plans to build upon the partnership even further.
“What we’re trying to really do here is find and establish our place in the category and the marketplace,” he said. “We’re consistently now doing that through our association with people like Disney and Star Wars and Marvel [and Intel, with which SMS has co-developed biometric headphones]. All of these associations are really a consistent way to have the brand connected with brands that families enjoy, that they value and experience together. This is the essence of affinity marketing.”
He added “With our product line, we really believe we appeal to families and teens and even younger, and these associations with these brands give us a spot the marketplace that’s not occupied at the moment.”
SMS’s first Lucasfilms- (and thus Disney-) licensed products became available in May 2014. Nohe noted to TWICE a few months later: “A lot people questioned why we’d do that, and the reason is there’s a lot of Star Wars fans. They really appreciate quality product. … We sold out of our first couple runs of Star Wars products, and it’s doing fabulous.”
In a nod to upcoming products, Nohe also let on that SMS plans to devote more focus on the “health and safety” category. Nohe said the manufacturer is currently developing active noise-canceling headphones that will automatically shut off when too much ambient noise is detected, as well as headphones that feature safety lights for runners.