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The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that Anheuser-Busch InBev is betting that the next big game trend will be ping-pong – and has actually ended some high profile sponsorship deals in order to become lead sponsor of the Bud Light Hard Bat Ping Pong Tournament.

There are a number of companies betting that ping pong will be the next Texas Hold ‘Em, the poker game that swept the nation just a few years ago, with a presence that extended from people’s family rooms to Las Vegas and a range of televised tournaments.

KC's View:
Seems to me that the advantage that ping-pong has over poker is that it is perfectly legal – retailers could have weekend ping-pong tournaments in their parking lots as a way of creating excitement, which is something they couldn’t really do with poker.

The other advantage is that ping-pong is cross-generational…the table in our backyard gets constant use during the summer, and Mrs. Content Guy takes great pleasure in the fact that she’s able to regularly defeat our kids. (Everybody is able to beat me, so I generally just make dinner while they’re playing.)

There are plenty of marketing ideas implicit in this trend…and retailers should get aggressive about it.