How Halo and Xbox fired Polk into a European battle

How Halo fired Polk into a European battle
Polk sees gaming as a great starting point

Polk is a big deal in the US, dominating a big section of the audio market alongside premium sister brand Definitive Technology, but until now has barely registered on the European market.

However, all that is about to change, with the audio giant taking the decisions to step up its mission across the pond, as former Under Armour sportswear marketing guru Blair Tripoldi attempts to conquer the tricky but potentially lucrative German and UK markets.

Setting out on an international campaign that he describes as "a marathon not a sprint", Tripoldi told TechRadar that it was working with Microsoft on Xbox and gaming franchises such as Halo and Forza that gave the company the impetus to take on both the classic British AV companies and European giants on their own territory.

"When a company the size of Microsoft asks you to be involved in the Xbox then it's a big confidence boost," he said.

"When that type of partner gives you a leg up it absolutely gives you the appetite to take on more markets and it also gives you built in demand.

"When we launched in the UK there was already a lot of noise and when you can dovetail off the back of that it gives you courage."

Wave Halo

Polks' VP of product development Mark Suskind explained just how close the links to the studios behind Forza and Halo became.

"We actually, with the help of our friends at Xbox, got a meeting with those guys, sat down with them and said 'you are the artists and we want to be the gallery that your sonic painting hangs in'.

"They completely understood that vision and it resonated with them so we spent several weeks with them in their studios talking to everyone involved in the sound."

Polk's early play is particularly focused on the gaming market, with sound bars and headsets including the forthcoming Striker.

"We wanted to explore Xbox as an element along with PC gaming and this massive other platform called PlayStation!" added Tripoldi.

"So Striker is our next generation multi-platform headset. Xbox has opened the door for us and now we are moving forward."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.