Tuesday, November 1, 2011











Angry Birds Opens a Chicken Coop: Rovio to Open First Brick and Mortar Shop in China and Bootleg the Bootleggers

 

The company's crafty strategy to fight bootlegged Chinese merchandise will soon be launched, and they might go public after that.


Apparently, The People’s Republic of China is totally, completely, batshit crazy for Angry Birds, as indicated by gamemaker Rovio’s moves they’re making there.
We’re not talking the kind of Angry Birds craziness that exists in America, where people attend to the slingshot-weaponry of pissy, overweight birds at every possible moment whether opportune or not. Angry Birds is—according to the Finland-based gamemaker Rovio—one of the most copied/bootlegged brands in China, whose growing middle class is just sitting there, slinging birds, waiting for their incomes to be exploited for conspicuous consumption like the rest of the Western World. Enter—in the immortal words of Mel Brooks— merchandising, merchandising, merchandising.
Via Bloomberg, Rovio is opening their first store in China, where the brand is growing the fastest:
The company aims to hit $100 million in retail sales in China in the first year of store operations, Chief Marketing Officer Peter Vesterbacka said at the Techcrunch conference in Beijing today. He didn’t provide possible locations or say how many outlets the Espoo, Finland-based company plans to open.
Not only are they selling official gear, but via the Bloomberg report, they’ll be taking inspiration from bootlegged merchandise as ideas for official merch! Way to turn bad business on its back, Rovio, who gets pegged at selling “over a million units a month” of merch which makes up “10 to 20 percent” of their business.

Peter Vesterbacka, chief marketing officer and co-founder of Rovio Entertainment Oy, speaks during the TechCrunch Disrupt Beijing conference in Beijing, China.




The most compelling piece of the item, however, is when Rovio places their own worth at “probably worth more than” $1B. Even more:
The “insanely profitable” company may sell shares to the public as early as next year…

The company aims to hit $100 million in retail sales in China in the first year of store operations, Chief Marketing Officer Peter Vesterbacka said at the Techcrunch conference in Beijing today. He didn’t provide possible locations or say how many outlets the Espoo, Finland-based company plans to open.
“Angry Birds” has multiple game versions in which players use a virtual slingshot to fire birds at structures populated by green pigs. Rovio currently sells merchandise including stuffed toys, flip-flops and Halloween costumes through its online store.
“China is our fastest-growing market, so we are taking it very seriously,” Vesterbacka said. “We want to be more Chinese than the Chinese companies.”
The company is tailoring games to appeal to the local market, such as the recent “Moon Festival” version timed for the Mid-Autumn celebration last month, Vesterbacka said.
“Angry Birds” is the most-copied brand in China, the executive said. The company is taking inspiration from pirate merchandise, including mylar balloons featuring unlicensed characters from the game, for ideas on products to introduce, Vesterbacka said.
Merchandise makes up 10 percent to 20 percent of the business, and stuffed toys are selling a million units a month, Vesterbacka said in a Bloomberg Television interview this month. The “insanely profitable” company may sell shares to the public as early as next year and is probably worth more than $1 billion, he said at the time. 






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