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A Discussion on the Problematic Growth of Badminton in the San Francisco Bay Area

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by MysticHLE, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. MysticHLE

    MysticHLE Regular Member

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    Better Means More Expensive - A Discussion on the Problematic Growth of Badminton in the San Francisco Bay Area



    Note: The following discussion and analysis include some common stereotypes that are (to my knowledge, at least) among the community here in the Bay Area. Please take note of this fact and try not to be offended when such references are made. :)



    It's really nice to see that there are more and more badminton centers available around the San Francisco Bay Area - it is an indication that the sport is indeed growing and expanding. However, is this growth in a good direction for the sake of badminton as a whole?

    I still remember an old article written by kwun here on these forums about how badminton is stuck in a vicious financial/popularity cycle.

    In light of all this, I cannot help but to think that the current direction in which badminton is developing towards here in the greater San Francisco Bay Area is wrong and is actually detrimental to the overall bigger picture of the sport's popularity and support.

    I have played badminton in the S.F. Bay Area for over 8 years now. I started in my freshman year in high school, and I have been actively playing and training ever since. I have gone to many badminton centers here in the Bay Area (including #1-3 of the ones listed below) and in China. I have also played through numerous racquets (Yonex, Yangyang, Wilson, Victor, etc). All in all, one could say that I have spent on badminton (racquets, shoes, memberships, shuttles, etc) what a normal college student would consider a fortune.

    As I look back to all of these spendings (mostly from my mom supporting me playing badminton), my passion for this sport stirs inside me to ask myself these questions...was all of this money worth it? For me? For badminton?

    Here in Fremont, CA, there are quite a few numbers of places to play badminton. To name them,

    1. A local community center (ICC) here in the Irvington district that charges a flat drop-in fee of $4 for roughly 2.5-3 hours of play - duration depending on which day of the week it is. Decent lighting and normal wood gym flooring.

    2. A recreational facility called City Beach with 8 badminton courts at a flat rate of $7 each drop-in. Slightly better flooring - but still wood. Mission San Jose High School used to come here for their training.

    3. United Badminton Club (UBC) - professional-quality mats - opened about 5 years ago - $7 each drop-in after peak hours. $5 during non-peak hours.

    4. California Badminton Academy (CBA) - recently opened - $8 evenings and $8.50 weekends are their regular prices after the initial opening promotion.

    If we simply step back and look at the list above, one emerging trend should become obvious: newer facilities = better = more expensive. But where do we stop? Let's take a closer look at #1-3 (since I have not been to #4 yet) of the above facilities and analyze how they have impacted the development of badminton here in Fremont, CA.

    Eight years ago, Irvington Community Center (ICC) was the place to go in Fremont for badminton. On weekend nights, the place would be packed with a vastly different array of people that ranged from under-13 youths to competitive high school players to older adults and seniors who simply played for recreation and fun. At this time, City Beach was the main training ground for Mission San Jose High School (mostly Asian) players who trained there each day out of season.

    Then United Badminton Club (UBC) opened up during my junior year (year 11) in high school. For over a year, the place was extremely popular and mostly packed both night and day by players of all levels from around the Bay Area - this was when their drop-in rate was a flat $7 regardless of time - and players were allowed to stay for as long as they wanted/lasted. ICC gradually became more empty on weekends.

    After about 2 years, things at UBC changed when Coach Liu Xiaomu took over the business from the initial owners. Gradually, the same people I have seen for over a year stopped going. Membership rates increased and pricing policies changed - players were only allowed to stay in the facility for the period in which they paid for (i.e. if you went in any time during non-peak hours, you are expected to leave at start of peak hours). More courts were also reserved for coaching even during peak hours - and the facility more or less became a training center for the UBC Elite Team. At the time of this writing, the website's introduction page is entirely in Chinese (with minor English navigations on top). It has been 5 years since the facility opened, and the rubber floorings are now detached, out of place, and dirty with shoe marks - with no signs of maintenance whatsoever.

    Around this time, newer and better maintained facilities such as Bay Badminton Center (BBC) opened as well. However, it seems that $7 is now the standard minimum for drop-in! In fact, BBC charges $8 per drop-in (although it is graceful about freedom of leaving and returning), and the newest California Badminton Academy (CBA) charges $8.50 on weekends.

    Okay, I'm really sorry to complain about pricing and to say this now...but I'm a college student, and I'm not rich enough to continue to play badminton like this - and neither are most people here in the Bay Area.

    Living in the Bay Area is expensive. To put things in perspective, the median household income in 2006-2008 for the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland area was $76,476 according to the U.S. Census. To analyze the situation for 2009-2010, we need to take into account of increased taxes (on top of the regular income taxes), increased tuition fees for students, average mortage and rent toppling over $1500/month, and other living expenses. Putting all of this together, I resoundingly declare that it totally absurd to charge $8/drop-in if the main goal of the facilitiy owners is to actually promote the popularity of badminton!

    Yes, I do realize that huge sporting facilities require a hefty amount of money to maintain and that money has always been a problem for badminton. However, let's just step back and think about the underlining problems revolving the badminton financial-popularity cycle if we were to keep heading in the direction that we are now. Let's begin by asking the following:

    What would make the majority-basketball, football, or baseball-exposed general public to want to ever play badminton, an Asian-majority sport that requires an incredible amount of personal spending, and receives little mass/media recognition/sponsorship - if their favorite sport is already so popular to the extent that there are scouts seeking players out in addition to that sport looking good on a college application?

    I mean, really, colleges are practically paying those guys to play, and where does that leave us badminton players? We simply pay more and more in order to play at a better facility with better equipments and more coaching.

    And where does all of this money come from? The answer, if not already apparent, is that the money more or less strictly comes from the audience in which this development is focused towards: the already-enthusiastic Asian-majority badminton community. We can see this directly from UBC blatantly making their website Chinese-oriented with little focus on the larger English-speaking community in which badminton might be exposed to. Similarly, we can see the same pattern emerging in California Badminton Academy (CBA), with head coaches from China being involved in its opening publicity while promising quality training from professionals.

    If the badminton community's passions and desires are to truly make badminton popular through media, funding, and participation, then we need to consider two aspects of popularity: recognition-popularity and participation-popularity.

    Currently, the goal seems to develop the recognition-popularity of the sport here in the U.S. through Olympic and other international sporting recognitions by training and pushing our players until they are on par to compete with Chinese players and bring back the medals.

    However, it is equally important that we do not forget the necessity of a participation-popularity balance. But where is the open-ness and publicity to non-Asian/badminton sport enthusiasts that actually may be interested? Why are all the UBC's and CBA's badminton advertisement photos all of black-haired, yellow-skinned people? Are non-Asian/badminton folks meant to be stuck at ICC with no real understanding and instruction of the game? Oh, and before you even suggest it, please don't count those P.E. classes in high school where they supposedly "teach" people badminton - because as far as I know, I learned basket ball in 1st grade - and that was in China.

    It is also interesting to note that my psychology classes (both in high school and in college) taught me that if people see themselves in advertisements that they can relate to, they are more likely buy the product. And of course, I have never seen a single advertisement here in the Bay Area for badminton coaching (or anything that has to do with badminton, rather) where a non-Asian person was involved. Go figure - where's Peter Gade of Denmark when you need him?

    The situation of badminton's development in other parts of the United States might not be as bad as I had just described. However, because badminton is already arguably most popular here in the San Francisco Bay Area (and rest of Southern California) out of the entire United States, I believe that the arguments made here are indeed applicable in their strongest sense. Thus, in all seriousness, while this ethnic and cultural barrier might not be intentional, it is actually setting up badminton in a position that will be extremely difficult to backtrack from.

    In addition to what I have seen in the past 8 years with the ever-increasing prices of facilities, the propaganda-based advertisements and prices of the Li-Ning racquets due to the Chinese team, and the lack of support from (many high schools here are cancelling badminton due to budget cuts, etc) and outreach towards the non-Asian community are making the situation worse and more biased towards the rich Asian communities.

    Badminton is not an easy sport to pick up to begin with; the unique and delicate wrist movements are not usually involved in and developed from everyday activities. Combining this fact with expensive facility fees, equipments, and private coaching, then, the choice of whether or not to play badminton for the general non-badminton-enthusiasts is simply as straightforward as this: "Why even think about it? With $8, I can watch a movie instead!"

    In fact, even for us badminton-enthusiasts, we might as well add facilities and membership fees to the top of kwun's list of Badminton Central's Guide to Choosing Equipments!

    So, unless there is some kind of economic recession in badminton (apparently there is none even with a real economic recession throughout the country!), the prices are not going to drop, and the sport will remain stuck behind this narrow ethnic barrier here in the Bay Area, and badminton will still be forever stuck in its viscious popularity-financial cycle.

    To overcome this, a lot of economic and self sacrifices will need to be made from the racquet manufacturing industries, coaches, private facility managers, and us players around the world. We all have to ask ourselves: what do we want?

    For the coaches, private facility owners, and racquet makers...are you out there to use badminton as a tool to make money for your own gains, or do you truly support the sport and take careful consideration of every sale's impact on the community and the sport's publicity? For us players, are we simply going to tolerate the marketing schemes in place and not speak up? Or do we simply quit and not play anymore? I'm speaking up now, but I may have to quit anyway at this rate. What about you?

    I just know that I can only dream of a day when a new gym opens here in the U.S., and Peter Gade - along with Lin Dan - are the public spokesman figures.
     
  2. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    very well written and thought out. promoting to front page.

    it is indeed a real trend that vast majority participating in badminton are Asians. i organized and played in a corporate badminton a few weeks ago and the total number of non-Asians can be counted with 2 hands. however, the solution of which is not apparent. it is still good for a start to raise the awareness.

    as for the cost, it is tough one. most gym owners are using their life spending on opening these clubs and it is only reasonable for them to try to make a living out of it. as you mentioned that things are expensive here in Bay Area, the rent is also rather substantial and i question if they will even survive with lowered cost. $4 drop-in are pretty much infeasible and only possible with community center or public school open gyms as they are subsidized by the city.
     
  3. MysticHLE

    MysticHLE Regular Member

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    Thanks!

    And yeah...as for the cost, I do realize the problem in that too...but there has to be some way. =| Well, hope it raises some awareness.
     
  4. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    MysticHLE, i might come across harsh but i need to shake your naive view of things.

    you are lucky to have so many choice of clubs to play in, here where i am, we have 2 private clubs, entry fee $25,000 to $50,000, plus annual dues. Lessons are extra. Outside of these 2 clubs, we have odd and end gyms that are make shift badminton courts, and they cost 5 to 9$ for 2-3 hours drop in. Since u said u live in a high median income area, don't expect cheap living costs and that goes for badminton too. Since badminton isn't US recognized sports like basketball, football, baseball, don't expect gov't subsidy on any badminton facility and tournaments. If u want to become a semi pro to pro players, it need deep pocket, this is a no brainer. All the past and current top badminton pros in canada came from above average income family. To become a recognized badminton player in US/canada, u have to make your own sacrifice, you have to think like u r a pioneer in this country, just like how in the early days of asian players in the 50's and 60's. Don't whine about the system because we all know the system isn't set up for badminton in north america. If your want to make your case, you should write to your politicans and media people. Your local clubs are already doing promoting badminton by risking their own money to built top notch real badminton facilities with good coaches. These facilities run on low profit margin, they have to have a profit motive or they won't exist. If they go bankrupt, is that good for promoting badminton?

    Regarding advertisements using black haired players, well, the business operators want the best bang for their marketing dollars. The So Calif. facility operators are targeting their potential customers in their area which are mostly (~95% black hair clients). This is unlike yonex which are marketing their products internationally, they want or need to throw in some non-black hair players as advisory staff. When yonex lost the china and korea accounts, did u notice yonex put in more marketing dollars toward UK? if they have a choice, would they want their marketing dollars goes to china, korea or UK?

    On the same message at a larger scale, have u ask why Li Ning only sponsored chinese badminton players while they sell their gears to any colored hair players?? How come LN doesn't sponsor black hair players in certain sports? Summary, u have a good vent but u r venting toward the wrong people. If u want to improve your situation, u should take some self initiative.

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    #4 cooler, Jun 14, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  5. MysticHLE

    MysticHLE Regular Member

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    First of all, the goal of what I wrote was not to complain for myself of the pricing. I'm a soon-to-be college graduate in computer science engineering, and I would personally have no problems in paying off the fees in a year or so.

    Your response assumes that I even want to or care to be a pro player - and at the same time assumes that I am naive to the funding needed. I assure you that I am not. However, had you really carefully read the second half of what I wrote, you would know that I am simply trying to bring attention to a problem that will keep badminton in the vicious popularity-financial cycle that it is already in - if things go unchanged.

    I've written and expressed my thoughts and concerns, but you're simply accepting things for the way they are and calling people naive without really understanding their intentions. Instead of telling me to take initiative, then, why don't you do the same?
     
  6. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    Mystic, don't mind cooler. he is not known for being eloquent nor known for his diplomatic skills. ;)

    however, i think cooler does (indirectly) point out something sad but true. clubs are private enterprises. private enterprises, despite what they claim in the surface, are there to make profit. very very few are actually genuinely there to promote the sport of badminton. if you tell them to forget about making any penny, no one will do it, esp not in the scale of investment that they have put in. it is simply unrealistic.

    to really for something to do something, the job lies in the governing body, ie. USAB. unfortunately, USAB is not known for being effective nor are they known for being rich enough to do anything substantial. in other words, they are also powerless in actually promoting badminton. most people i know who works in USAB are donating their time and energy to make things happens. but without much funding, they too are rather powerless.

    despite that, we have to start from somewhere and your article will certainly raise awareness to the issues involved.
     
  7. MysticHLE

    MysticHLE Regular Member

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    Yeah, and that is actually what I was trying to allude to in my post without being too explicit...hehe :p

    But I guess the harsh truth is brought to surface anyway. It's sad, but true...*sigh*

    Thanks for understanding~ :)

    P.S. Is it possible to somehow let me edit that post a little to fix some grammar/spelling mistakes...(since you're promoting it to the front page and all...a bit embarrassing...haha)? xD
     
    #7 MysticHLE, Jun 14, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  8. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    open your eyes. this chicken and egg (popularity-financial cycle) dilema is no more. We have kim dong moon, ardy W., Tony G, Halim H plus many ex pros in north america, US won the 2005 WC MD, Canada is one of the original IBF founding members. Where did that got us to?? more gov't cutback on funding that's what. The only way i see it is grow badminton from the ground up (egg position and u r just one of the embryo). Hopefully, economic and political influence from the black hair people country (china) would make the western nations take notice. Why not, chinese food and sushi use to be novelty here but no more. We drive japanese and korean cars now and i bet many here have shop in the famous chinese stores staffed by non black hair people (in canada it is) call Walmart. What initiative have i done? well i done way more than your average players.

    be patience. The westerners have abandoned the sport (badminton) that they've founded and once dominated. Now it is time for the asian community to bring it back to life. Do u know that 2 of the most popular sports in the world are not popular in north america?? soccer and badminton. I see the problem is not us, but the majority of amercian people. They are still eating hamburger and fries for sports
     
    #8 cooler, Jun 14, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  9. MysticHLE

    MysticHLE Regular Member

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    Hm, you do have a good point on building it from ground up just like how the cultures have expanded. However, once prices do go up that high, do you expect it to ever come down to the level that would be acceptable to the non-existing-badminton community? I mean, even if economic/political influence from China gets the western nations' attention, would you really expect non-badminton enthusiasts to ever say "Sure, I'll pay $8 to go play badminton instead of watching a movie or playing basketball or tennis for free?"

    Or are you expecting, idealistically, that sometimes down the line, all the financial motives and prices involved with private facilities will simply vanish when we'll presumably (ever) have public-subsidized facilities specially for badminton just like any outdoor tennis courts?
     
  10. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    (1) at least u have a broad spectrum of choices to facilities to play in. As i've said, i have 2 choices, 25-50k$ or 8-11$ for non badminton facility. I'll take your available choices anyday.
    For the non badminton enthusiasts, it comes down to what's hips at the moment. If badminton get to that level one day, they will come abroad.
    (2) lol, i sure like to have that problem. I will cross that bridge when i come to it. It's no use for me to tell u what i plan to do on a what if scenario that would happen 10 to 20 years from now or if ever. ok i can leak out one of my plan, if i win the powerball lottery, i can buy up all the key badminton facilities in north america and implement my own plan:p I can afford many lobbiests and kick some asses like what obama want to do to bp:p
     
    #10 cooler, Jun 15, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  11. MysticHLE

    MysticHLE Regular Member

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    Grr...stupid editing restrictions. I didn't finish commenting.

    Hm, you do have a good point on building it from ground up just like how the cultures have expanded. However, once prices do go up that high, do you expect it to ever come down to the level that would be acceptable to the non-existing-badminton community? I mean, even if economic/political influence from China gets the western nations' attention, would you really expect non-badminton enthusiasts to ever say "Sure, I'll pay $8 to go play badminton instead of watching a movie or playing basketball or tennis for free?"

    Or are you expecting, idealistically, that sometimes down the line, all the financial motives and prices involved with private facilities will simply vanish when we'll presumably (ever) have public-subsidized facilities specially for badminton just like any outdoor tennis courts?

    I hope you aren't honestly serious about the problem being the rest of the American people. The worst thing you can do when being confronted with a problem is to shove the blame onto someone else. Sure, Americans do have obesity problems and some choose to sit around like couch-potatoes watching the Super-Bowl while eating fries and hamburgers, but who are we to say that they cannot be the same couch-potatoes watching badminton instead? :p

    And nonetheless, all those people you mentioned - fits into the exact same narrow ethnic/background window that I mentioned: they're black haired and yellow-skinned - from within the badminton community itself. To the rest of America, IBF WC is not a big event, no matter who wins it - because it is badminton. On the other hand, if you have a blond-haired blue eyes team USA bringing in a gold medal from the Olympics, that would be something else. But of course that isn't going to happen any time soon at the rate that we're going by focusing badminton more and more to the rich Asian communities.

    Your idea of building the popularity from ground up and letting economical/political influences change the western nations' views on badminton and the popularity of the sport itself would work...if badminton does not eventually evolve into another golf - and that's what it seems to be turning into atm...

    And meh, no matter what facilities, badminton is still badminton to me. Even with the wooden floorings at City Beach, Mission San Jose's badminton team was many times stronger than those of most other schools here in the area because of the team's dedication to train hard (I'm not from Mission, btw).

    I disagree with the following:

    No matter how hip something is, there is still a financial boundary/limit. In order for badminton to become THAT hip for people to willingly spend $8-10 per drop-in, it would practically need to be as widely accepted as movies. Since everyone have physical limitations (age, physique, health issues), you will never see badminton get to such a level, whereas movies may be appreciated and watched in theatres, on T.V., or online by everyone (who are not blind...and there are far more non-blind people than people with the physique to play badminton long enough to make it worthwhile for $8+). So then we're back to the problem of making it as popular as we possibly can...and well, I've stated my points regarding that in my original post and the ones in response to you (including this one) now.

    And good to know your plan. :p
     
    #11 MysticHLE, Jun 15, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  12. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    by burger and fries i don't mean obesity barrier to badminton, i mean amercian taste buds in sports are still too simplistic. I have hightlighted the obvious cases of soccer and badminton.

    No offense but I suggest u take some basic business and marketing courses. Hips is what driving the american market if u dunno. Just look at those +100$ jeans, expensive SUV (ex. hummer) never see dirt road or snow/mud, ipod, ipone, imac, ipad, etc. US need a person like Steve Job to head up USAB.
     
    #12 cooler, Jun 15, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  13. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    Clubs cannot in any significant way help to promote the game. For the game to be more popular it has to start from the schools. Schools with their multi-purpose halls are the cheapest option and also the cradle of any future stars. Without all the schools in the nation involved in the game it is unlikely the standard of badminton in North America will ever catch up with Asia.
    Even in tiny Hong Kong, almost every school has a sports instructor in charge of badminton and the kids get to play at heavily subsidized costs. Once the kids get the badminton bug they or their parents will be more than willing to pay for additional higher level private coaching costs.
     
  14. amleto

    amleto Regular Member

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    thats some cheap prices imo! I'm paying £9.90 week days per 45m minutes or £7 per hour at weekends!
     
  15. MysticHLE

    MysticHLE Regular Member

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    Define simplistic in the sport-taste sense please. I don't see how you can get away without being entirely subjective here. And is it really all about the taste as you say? What about popularity of other sports in general and assimilating with rest of society? For a long time now, America as a country has been into their own things (using the English measuring system instead of metric, into baseball and football instead of soccer, etc). As a country, America has its own oddities. As the people of the country - most simply conform to the flow. Yet, you're blaming the lack of popularity of badminton on taste? You suggest that I take economic classes...well, I suggest you take some social/psychology classes.

    There are expensive clothing/jewelry and economically inefficient vehicles in a lot of other countries - and you're generalizing far too much now. You know, if you go to most malls and shops here, the clothes are actually under $30-40 range. With your logic, you might as well say all women who buy jewelry are hips.

    The iPod, iPhone, iMac, and iPad are hip indeed, but the reason why they are hip is because those products do offer innovations and designs with extreme ease of use and convenience that appeal to the majority that other competitors haven't matched. To this day, badminton has failed to be hip among this culture/society - and you're blaming the society for lack of taste...

    There are a lot of social-cultural influences on people in terms of what they like. People (and those of different genders) also have different tastes by nature. You're generalizing far too much about the American people and placing the blame on them for the lack of badminton popularity here without critically focusing on what we might be possibly doing wrong as a badminton community; that's never going to solve the problem.

    In all fair sense, America is perhaps the biggest conglomeration of people and diversity in the world. I guess with your logic, you're trying to say that everyone in the world who don't like badminton lack taste and wisdom.

    And, as taneepak pointed out, the major driving forces are in schools and other bigger public domains - and private clubs will never be able to bring badminton to such a level if they confine advertisement and publicity among the same targeted audience of badminton-enthusiasts out of fear and pressure of marketing losses to a different audience.

    You're never going to be able to appeal to the majority if you think they are wrong and make yourself an enemy of the people.
     
    #15 MysticHLE, Jun 15, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  16. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    ..hmm, this topic/issue has been brought up a few times already...and can be considered a continuation from kwun's thread as well..

    ..all the questions as to how to make badminton more popular/financially more feasible/more attractive can be considered a $10 million dollar question..:p

    i think the problem not only applies to the SF Bay Area, but also to SoCal...We've got a limited pool/number of baddy enthusiasts with full time baddy clubs mushrooming here and there..

    The biggest factor (and as already mentioned), imo, is the culture & mindset itself (more profit driven)..

    The only other way (which many have already suggested) to make the sport more affordable and to really generate interest in the sport is to promote the sport in elementary schools, or even kindergarten (expose the kids from very young age). If Yonex or Li Ning wants to invest in the sport by providing equipments to the schools, then that'll be a good start. Or if the clubs, themselves, want to promote the sport by providing special courses at public schools, then who knows, the interest might grow..at this time, i can only foresee private companies/entities who are able to "jumpstart" anything..

    Public halls/gyms (such as public parks w/gyms) are another option. But then, they can only give you so much and only a limited number of hours..

    As for the clubs making their prices more "affordable", boy, that will be an even more of a challenge. Maybe as the pool of interested individuals grows, then maybe they'll start reducing the prices..

    I, personally, would be happy if badminton can reach its sister sport, tennis, in terms of popularity and financial rewards in the U.S.
     
    #16 ctjcad, Jun 15, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  17. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    i think mystic's point about lowering badminton costs to foster better popularity is false.
    As u said above it is a mind set and how the sport is promoted and marketed.

    There are many expensive sports that have high barrier to entry and are very popular in term of tv and live audience.
    Take golf, indy 500 and IROC. Even hockey having real gears can runs into $1000 plus ice rink rental.

    if we just look at racquet only sports, why is tennis so much popular than racquetball, squash and badminton?
    These racquet sports have similar cost for any beginner and advanced players.
     
    #17 cooler, Jun 15, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  18. druss

    druss Regular Member

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    why is tennis more popular? The most important reason is because you can find free tennis courts all across the US and Canada. Where do you find free gym/badminton facilities? Same is true for squash and racketball.

    being from Canada and Edmonton (big hockey town) I will tell you that the cultural tendency is to play hockey first, then lacrosse, then the other "manly" sports like football, soccer... etc. Basically, if it doesn't involve physical contact of some kind then it's a "sissy" sport. The other thing is the media, western media focuses on those sports which have cultural and fiscal importance. The fact that people will travel to their countries to watch these sports, such as the tennis grand slams, means a lot of money for the economy. The fact that the prizes at these events are in the millions and have huge sponsors are also a part.

    Quite frankly, you WON'T EVER get badminton into a position of prominence in north america that it enjoys in asia. Just like you won't get European football (soccer to us in NA) to the same level in NA that it enjoys in Europe. Not to make any comparisons but there are a TON of sports out there that I'm sure many people enjoy and love that don't get the attention the participants think they deserve.

    Keep in mind that the highest ratings shows in Korea are WOW tournaments....

    I don't even understand why this is such a big issue... trying to get north americans to play and appreciate would be nice but about as futile as trying to get malaysians to do the same for ice hockey....
     
  19. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    u r talking after the fact. Racketball and squash use to be very popular, more popular than tennis in North America. Courts were everywhere. Every university and fitness centers have racketball and squash courts. Suddenly, racket and squash are not longer hip and tennis became a cooler sport. Almost all these courts have been rip out and renovated into something else. I doubt people got interested in tennis because they plan to become tennis pros and make big $.

    yes, this thread is about nothing. Free market is at work. More and better facilities sprouting up is a sign of progress. Average level of players are moving up and want higher end products. If Mystic want to see more courts for youth and seniors, he could go back to play at ICC or even go out and rent 'lower end' gym(s) and organize club(s) for the sub 5$ market. If he feels current higher end clubs are missing the mark, he can sure make some coins filling the this void that he is claiming.
     
    #19 cooler, Jun 15, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  20. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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