Badminton: Six Companies Embrace New Sponsorships for Indonesian Shuttlers
Indonesia’s badminton administrators have signed up six new sponsors in deals totaling Rp 33.2 billion ($3.4 million), for the first time allowing companies to sponsor individual athletes and coaches.
The Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI) on Thursday announced that it had signed the sponsorship deals with apparel producers Victor, Li Ning, Flypower, Astec, Babolat and Reinforced Speed and would use the funds to support 80 shuttlers and 10 coaching staff. The deals mark the end of the commercial domination of Japan’s Yonex, which had been the sole sponsor of the federation for years.
The broadening of sponsorship deals and the decision to allow the sponsorship of individual athletes and coaches were initiatives of PBSI president Gita Wirjawan, the country’s trade minister who assumed the sporting role last September.
“PBSI sees the athletes and coaches’ welfare as the most important thing to start the country’s badminton revitalization,” PSBI head of finance and promotion Anton Subowo said on Thursday.
“By improving their welfare, I believe it will attract many talented young athletes to start their career as badminton players because they know they will have a bright future ahead.”
Anton added the new system allowed companies to make personal bids to sponsor players and coaches under the PBSI’s supervision. The deal will cover salaries and bonuses for athletes and coaches if they win tournaments.
Sponsors appeared to welcome the new scheme and were eager to sign both athletes and coaching staff.
Deals offered to some of the 80 players exceeded Rp 1 billion a year in some cases, while the lowest offer was Rp 25 million.
Mixed doubles pair Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir signed with Victor in what is reportedly one of the highest contract values, though PBSI would not reveal the details.
Victor also signed 22 other players, most of them young, including men’s singles competitor Riyanto Subagja and men’s doubles player Rendy Sugiarto.
“We prefer young talented athletes to help them develop their skills in the future based on their track records. They also met other criteria we set up,” Victor representative Ping Ping said.
Chinese brand Li Ning, which signed nine athletes, including Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Simon Santoso, also welcomed the new sponsorship scheme, company representative Mahendar Kapoor said.
“With the open system, everyone wants to perform and win,” he said. “Players desperately want it. It is the scheme other countries need to follow. Nowadays every country, like Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, is talking about the system. I think it is the most democratic system.”
Local sponsor Astec, owned by Olympic gold medalist couple Alan Budikusuma and Susi Susanti, signed eight players, while Flypower, owned by 1995 world champion Hariyanto Arbi, signed 19 players.