Nintendo Scores Big With Snowboarding: Company signs deal with Hilfiger for clothing line

Snowboarding is hot, at least among kids who play video games. In fact, 1080° Snowboarding, Nintendo’s recent snowboard video-game release, has been one of the best-selling and most-rented video games this spring-maybe it was due to the fact that snow melted so quickly across much of the country.

According to Nintendo, the game was the number-one selling game in April and continues to do well. “Since it’s launch in early April, we’ve sold 800,000 units in the U.S.,” says Nintendo’s Public Relations Manager Beth Llewelyn. “We’re very excited about the enthusiastic response we received to 1080° Snowboarding. Our entry into the 'extreme sports’ video game category has been an overwhelming success.”

And according to the Video Software Dealers Association VidTrac reports for home rental activity, as of May 31 the game had been available for rental for nine weeks and has ranked either number one or two each week that it was out (trading places with the games Goldeneye 007 and Yoshi’s Story). The game has averaged approximately 190,000-dollars per week in rental sales. Ironically, before 1080° was released, Snowboard Kids was ranked in the top five, but has not made the list since.

All this exposure should rub off on the snowboard market, and in particular, Lamar Snowboards-whose line of snowboards is featured in the game. “We think it’s going to help on the consumer level in the fall,” says Ryan Glancy, Lamar sales manager. “We sent some of the games to shops and it’s affected the shop employees and they’re stoked on the brand. The fall release in Europe will probably help a lot as well.”

Glancy is also stoked to be involved now that Tommy Hilfiger signed a deal with Nintendo to feature permanent Nintendo 64 interactive kiosks with the latest games in its stores for the back-to-school season. The kiosks will be placed in 1,000 Tommy stores in the top-100 U.S. markets starting in August 1998. The Tommy Hilfiger name and highly recognizable flag logo will be prominently featured in the snowboarding game; in return, Tommy Hilfiger will design and sell special, limited-edition 1080° Snowboarding jackets, sweatshirts, and T-shirts.

“Partnering with a company such as Nintendo is the perfect opportunity to support our respective businesses,” says Joel Horowitz, chief executive officer of Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A., Inc. “We knew this was a great opportunity for both of us. Kids love Tommy Hilfiger clothes and they love Nintendo video games.”

Peter Main, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president, sales, and marketing says, “In much the same way Nintendo 64 has revolutionized teen entertainment, Tommy Hilfiger is doing with teen fashion. This is a partnership that makes great sense.”