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Cricket makes GameStop second player in phone sales

The wireless carrier and gaming retailer team up to double Cricket's brick-and-mortar presence.


Ready, player two? Cricket Wireless is.

The prepaid carrier, now owned by AT&T, announced a new partnership on Monday that will just about double its retail footprint: video game store GameStop will start selling phones on Cricket's network.

Stores in Dallas and Los Angeles have been running the pilot program for roughly 9 months already. The plan is to rapidly expand the presence of Cricket handsets to 2,800 more GameStop shops by the end of October.

Cricket has roughly 3,000 brick-and-mortar stores itself, so the deal will spike its total retail presence to almost 6,000 locations nationwide.

Pairing phone sales with video games and gaming paraphernalia isn't the most traditional route to raising brand awareness and finding new customers, but getting in front of gamers isn't a bad idea. It's just too bad that parent company AT&T killed off Cricket's all-you-can-eat music service in the transition process.

In addition, GameStop's buy/sell/trade program for old or unwanted electronics will apply to Cricket phones as well.

This is Cricket's first national partnership deal since relaunching under AT&T this past May. Previously, the company had a small footprint in select WalMart stores.