Snoop Dogg: The Next George Foreman?

Rapper inks pact for new hybrid scooter

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%%STORYIMAGE_RIGHT%% Salton, the company that struck gold with the George Foreman Grill, is now launching WRFF(Walk Run Fly Faster)—a combination bicycle, scooter and skateboard—and has enlisted rap star Snoop Dogg to generate buzz.

The multimedia hip-hop personality is appearing in a WRFF(pronounced "riff") commercial, breaking in June, directed by Hype Williams. Salton also plans to release a customized line of Snoop WRFFs by Christmas.

"Our whole strategy is urban to suburban. We're saying that as a kid , if you BMX or skateboard, you're gonna like WRFF too. It's extreme and different so we wanted to go with this hip-hop approach," said John Howell, WRFF Marketing Manager at Salton. The core target market for WRFF is kids 12-16 years-old. The product will retail between $150-300.

The relationship was originally struck when Salton came on board as the title sponsor of Project Revolution, a tour this summer with Linkin Park, Korn and Snoop Dogg. "The reason we did this is that Snoop really wants to be in a bigger business with the Salton folks. Their track record with George Foreman is enticing," said Constance Schwartz, VP-strategic marketing for The Firm, Snoop's management company. "We took a reduced rate so that we could have equity with possible royalties."

%%PULLQUOTE_LEFT%% In fact Snoop and his team at The Firm are so enamored of the back-end possibilities that were reaped with the George Foreman blueprint that they've initiated discussions with Salton on the idea of a Snoop Dogg barbecue grill. Howell said he'll see how well Snoop is received in the advertising before exploring any further partnerships.

Snoop has a busy summer ahead of him. Not only is he starring in the feature film, "Starsky & Hutch", but "213," a CD marking the collaboration of Nate Dogg, Warren G. and Snoop drops in July, followed by his solo record in October. Snoop also has a fall TV project that he's prepping for MTV with the working title "Coach Snoop." It's a reality-show concept about the youth football team he coaches. Schwartz thinks the show would be an ideal product integration opportunity for WRFF.

This collaboration between hip-hop and corporate America follows the path tread by Heineken with Jay-Zee and The Gap with Missy Elliott.

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