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Why is badminton not as popular in the US as other countries?

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by jwcdis, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. jwcdis

    jwcdis Regular Member

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    This has probabbly been asked, chewed up and spat out several times but I couldn't find it anywhere on the forums

    But why do you supposed badminton is not as popular in the US as in other countries?

    Could it be because of...
    -International Relations?
    -Rules, Gameplay, unexciting to watch?
    -Advertisement? (The game does not reach to people in many areas)
    -Lack of organized professional play such as leagues?
    -The abundance of other different sports? (baseball, football, etc.

    I encourage everyone to answer, feel free to add and support multiple reasons
     
  2. jwcdis

    jwcdis Regular Member

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    i wish i knew how to make this into a poll instead
     
  3. taneepak

    taneepak Regular Member

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    A poll will just reflect the participants' opinions, but will it come up with any meaningful conclusions?
    Maybe we can have a look at soccer, which has become more popular since they signed the legendary Pele to play in the US many moons ago. But what is the real reason for its increased popularity in the US? I, for one, certainly think it has something to do with the increasing population of soccer-crazy hispanic people in the US.
    Food for thought : why not offer incentives to world-ranked badminton players and their families, especially from China, Korea, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, etc, etc. with special green cards and a US$100,000 settlement allowance and a mandatory provision that they be employed as coaches.
     
  4. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    A bit off topic...an old topic re-visited and re-chewed again..

    Hmm, that's part of the reason, albeit quite a significant one. But also aided with the marketability using the influential U.S. commercialization. But even before the 1994 WC in the U.S., soccer has a pretty good player/fan base in the U.S. and a sport which many schools have and compete in(jr. high, high school and so on). Actually, if i'm not mistaken, they had a professional team/league a while back in the L.A. area, but it dissolved. Then after the WC(1994) success here in the U.S., they started the MLS, "investing" on it that it will sprout new interest in the younger people and keep the interest going. Actually at one point, MLS almost went bankrupt :p and they almost disband the league..:rolleyes:
    Hmm, this is what i was thinking all along as one solution. Personally, I'm sure the big companies in the U.S., *if* they want to, if they want to invest in badminton and make it grow here in the U.S., they can. Imagine companies like.......Microsoft......heck, let's ask Mr. Gates:rolleyes: if he's willing to spend and invest just a tiiiiny portion of his salary, let's just take .1% of what he's making..........or if not, let's ask..........Mark Cuban:rolleyes: (owner of the Mavericks and a bunch of other businesses)...?!?!...But thing is, has IBF done enough to promote it here in the U.S.?? Have they approached Mr. Gates or Mr. Cuban and come up with a plan to market it here in the U.S.??..:p :rolleyes:
     
    #4 ctjcad, Jun 8, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2006
  5. event

    event Regular Member

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    Maybe that base was or is getting bigger because of the immigration to which taneepak referred. Maybe it was growing already. I thought Canada's fan/player base would benefit in the same way but I don't know that it has. Soccer has apparently been no. 1 by participation for some time but I guess that's true in many countries so it is far from being a guarantee of international success.
    There was the NASL back in the early 80s. The New York Cosmos was the NASL team for which Pele played. Toronto and Vancouver had teams. I'm sure LA did, too.

    As for badminton, there seems to be a variety of barriers. If I compare it to Korea, one thing that stands out is simply the competition with other sports for time in indoor gyms. Badminton is played primarily by adults here and so adults seem to work for influence on governments, etc. to get badminton-only gyms built and a lot of those are springing up. However, virtually no one plays basketball or volleyball or team handball recreationally past high school and so there is no one outside of a school to compete with for gym time. Kids on school teams get almost exclusive use of their schools' gyms and those who do risk parents' wrath by taking any time away from their studies are relegated to outdoor, often dirt, basketball courts. Basketball and volleyball interest in the U.S., by contrast is not separated demographically in the same way so there is a real competition for space and time in any indoor gym.

    Another difference is in perception. There are numerous threads on this forum that refer to the reputation of badminton as a sissy sport or a backyard game. I've talked to Canadians and even Koreans with similar points of view. I have never thought that but I have always thought of ping pong as a basement rec room game no matter how fit the international competitors look. Elite badminton would need exposure in the U.S. to change that perception and that requires either an investment by a risk-taking sponsor or an outpouring of demand from a large and vocal fan/player base. You can see where the vicious circle comes into play there.
     
  6. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    I understand your points. But U.S. essentially has the essential resources covered-ie. land & money. Imagine, take a look at the land of the U.S., with that big of a land size, don't tell us that there aren't rooms to build large enough badminton clubs, basically all over the U.S...?!?!..:rolleyes: ;)
    Yah, that's what i mentioned in the above post with the possibility of large companies/individual(s) to take an investment or time in it as a reasonable yet feasible solution. But how can it be introduced if IBF just do 1 World Champioship event and abandoned ship?? But unlike soccer, leaving us badminton *minority people/group* in the U.S., who are already without a strong base to build upon, to "fight" and bring the game to the big sponsors. I'm sure they did try(i remember Mr. Ueberroth being a speaker in last yr's WC), but why not IBF and Mr. Punchalan & his honchos bring their agenda and sit down with the big companies in the U.S. and say something like "listen, we have a plan and we're hoping if you would be interested in taking a small investment in the game of badminton. It already has a massive following to the rest of the world, mainly Asia, and one of the Olympic sporting event, but we would like to expand it more. If you can give us a chance, say 4-5 yrs time to market it first and make it grow here in the U.S. but at the same time we need your help. We'll work together, by having several IBF-sanctioned events here in the U.S. and you'll see your investment paid back"...:rolleyes:
     
    #6 ctjcad, Jun 8, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2006
  7. CWB001

    CWB001 Regular Member

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    There is no debate needed. It is obviously because the sport has not (so far) been played with rally point scoring!

    Its popularity in the US will now rival that of baseball because baseball is in trouble, having been dropped from the Olympics.
     
  8. jwcdis

    jwcdis Regular Member

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    baseball and badminton are like at the ends of 2 different charts lol. Baseball is still extremely popular in america and will always be but baseball may've been dropped because the WBC was established last year and was very sucessful. but the most import thing it did was allow MLB players to participate because the olympics confliced with the regular mlb season.

    I feel that badminton is the kind of sport that is not as popular as basketball because of the lack of professional leagues and "teams" who recieve many sponsors and endorsements and in the end money. many schools primilarily emphasize teaching baseball, football, basketball more because there's a chance for more sucess in these sports. So if we can get schools to start teaching badminton more we can increase professional play =)

    badminton is like tennis but tennis has more sponsors like Wilson, Prince, Denn, Dunlop, etc. where as nearly everything in the badminton world is sponsored by Yonex (just look at the Thomas and Uber 2006 and count how many logos you can see). So with yonex already a huge sucess in badminton I doubt brands like Nike and Reebok will step into an already dominated market. However Wilson is trying to find its way in so we'll see what happens to them.
     
    #8 jwcdis, Jun 9, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2006
  9. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    there is a cable channel in the US is seeing the golf channel is slipping too.
     
  10. event

    event Regular Member

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    You're right, it isn't a question of space. It is a question of money but also of clout. I mean, if you build a 400m speed-skating oval or a ski-jump tower, no one is going to try to play hockey on the former or mountain bike down the latter. It is different with a gym. One reason more gyms get built (than these other facilities), apart from the lower cost, is the fact that they are usually multi-purpose. But, in convincing anyone to put up the money for a gymnasium, no one is going to overlook the transferability as a selling point and that transferability means competition for gym time. Build a gym here and every badminton club in town starts drooling over it but the adults have all magically grown out of basketball and the kids know the adults are going to send them out into the street if they bring a ball in. It's more complicated than that, of course. I think with a sport the popularity of which is in its infancy, it's going to be a lot easier to argue for more time with existing facilities than to build new facilities exclusively for a sport that promises neither popularity nor successful competitors. The critical mass required to convince a school or a municipal gym to give you more hours per week is a lot lower than that required to get a sponsor to build you your own gym; however, even the first instance is a real challenge if the sport's reputation is still suffering.

    This examination of reasons doesn't deal so much with what it will take to change the situation as with why the change hasn't taken place yet.
     
  11. vip_m

    vip_m Regular Member

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    Courts are the key

    Here in the Philippines, badminton became the rage when courts started cropping up left and right. Abandoned warehouses were transformed into badminton courts that were beside offices so office-workers, after a day's work, would go to the convenient courts and have fun, work out steam, get some exercise. These people never played the game before, but because the courts were just beside their offices, they'd get curious or the courts would issue flyers inviting them for a free trial.

    If there were more courts in the US, I'm pretty sure the game would pick up. When I was there, they were so rare.

    vip
     
  12. LazyBuddy

    LazyBuddy Regular Member

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    You need the people to fill up the gym, in order to get your investment back. Most of the empty and cheaper land are lack of population support. However, once you turn to over-developed metro area (e.g. New York), the land is gold. Who will invest mult-millions dollars in NY, to build a large enough badminton gym, just to fit 40-50 players? :cool:
     
  13. thegenius

    thegenius Regular Member

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    the answer

    I will tell you why my friend.

    To be honest, I would prefer to know the solution than the problem but maybe you have it.

    The main thing is that there is not the incentive for Americans to play badminton and so it canøt compete with traditional sports.


    Sports with traditions always have an advantage which is why badminton has an advantage in Asia. But if people in USA are going to discover badminton, there has to be more advantage to play than other sports.

    Thatøs hard when you can get so many opportunities playing basketball, football ,baseball and ice hockey. Not just if you make it all the way, but if you make it to college on scholarships or even just excel on the local stage. Then you get attention.


    Badminton needs to get into the NCAA's and then it can use advantages of it's own. There are courts in most high schools in America giving us an advantage over tennis and squash. But without scholarship opportunities, there is not the incentive to play and parents won't pay for it.

    I don't knonw how, but we gotta get in there

    thegenius
     
  14. jwcdis

    jwcdis Regular Member

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    Yeah this kind of supports my idea about the lack of professional play, if badminton was brought the the United States it would be Yonex sponsor dominated so it would be very hard for nike and other sponsored to find their way in. So if professional play was started up, im sure NCAA would follow shortly.
     
  15. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    I totally understand your comment which i've highlighted in bold...I understand that "we need people to fill up gyms in order to get the investment back". But i was referrring to event's earlier comment/post which mentioned something to the effect of comparing the lack of places to play in Korea. Which in a way was echoed with what vip_m posted, which i don't know which part of the U.S. he visited...:rolleyes:
    Now, regarding "who will invest multi-million $$ to build a large enough badminon gym, anywhere in the U.S." Well, it's going to be difficult. But investing in badminton for as little as what one can afford to invest in, is still a better chance. Esp. if there's already a certain no. of fan bases in the U.S., albeit not very much and not big enough. Just like what i mentioned in my earlier posts in this thread, and to re-chew again, have IBF and Mr. Gunalan tried his best to approach the big U.S. companies??..:rolleyes: I mean i'm sure you and the rest of us here probably know and realize that U.S. is the "center of commercialization" in the world. And logically, if that's the case, where else would one go to promote a game/product??..:rolleyes:
     
    #15 ctjcad, Jun 9, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2006
  16. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    it's difficult but i won't say it's unachievable, *IF* big U.S. companies/individuals are willing to invest in it. But of course, it depends how bad IBF wants the sport to "boom" big time in the U.S. In a way they have to promote and really sell the game to the big bosses...:rolleyes:
     
  17. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    It will work and benefit both ways...

    I understand your point...But to reply to what you wrote, which i've highlighted in bold, isn't this a very good opportunity for one of U.S. big companies/individual(s) to invest in?? Investment which will probably take very little to start with. Who knows??...Knowing that badminton is already a popular sport *outside* of the U.S., and at the same knowing there are also people from those countries who reside here in the U.S. and are playing the sport, although widespread and still small in number-wise. Why not sponsor to hold more badminton IBF tourneys here in the U.S.?? While in the same time can promote their own name/product??..:rolleyes:
     
    #17 ctjcad, Jun 9, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2006
  18. CkcJsm

    CkcJsm Regular Member

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    well, one thing is that we have tennis,tennis courts are bigger and people think thats more fun,and the tennis ball can bounce.
    second people think its a sissy or easy boring game.when u see people play it for the first time, they just hit it,hit it as in easy hit and stuff.i dunno how to explain it, and they dont run alot.but when they try the real thing, u know the correct way, when ur left/right hand is in air to and hitting it in correct postion they usually miss alot and cant do it right...and quit.
    unlike basketball u can play with anyform u like.and play alot and for fun.for free too. u can go anywhere and find a hoop.
    in badminton it is expenisive. u have to buy birds,and they break easily. then u have to find a court indoors. which cost money to enter or to have. in tennis u can just buy 3 balls and u can proably play it for free, and outdoors.and alot of schools dont have them as a pe sport. so people dont know about it or dont try it.
    they will get to know it proably in high school. since thats the place where they usually show most sports.
    but hey, at these its not like some of these sports,
    where some i never even heard of.
     
  19. event

    event Regular Member

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    This is a good question. It makes me think there are two possibilities: either that U.S. corporations haven't thought of investing in badminton or that they are afraid there won't be a big enough return on their investment.

    This brings to mind a few cases, none of which I have in-depth knowledge. One is Nike's push into soccer. As far as I know, in the 80's, Nike was huge in all sports popular in the US but was nothing in soccer. Soccer seemed to be dominated by Adidas, Puma, Diadora, Umbro and Lotto. Nike started doing soccer in a big way and is now one of the leaders. I don't know if that has translated into big-time soccer-related sales in the U.S. but I doubt that mattered to them. They were already a global company with global brand recognition so overseas sales alone would justify their push into soccer. Even if they were counting on U.S. sales increases, what you said about badminton's popularity outside the U.S. obviously goes double or triple for soccer's.

    Another one is golf in Korea. I don't know who but obviously someone invested in golf in Korea, counting on the sport's snob value in a country with a large group nouveau-riche. Despite the lack of land, they were able to market the sport to thousands of rich, but not rich enough, wannabes who can really only experience the sport vicariously through the 3 golf channels and in a limited way through the numerous driving cages (not enough space for actual driving ranges so they have these green nylon mesh things like giant batting cages), occasional golf vacations, and, of course, buying golf stuff.

    As for badminton, I hope you're right. I hope that badminton's popularity outside the U.S., coupled with constant immigration from countries where it is popular, mean that it is a sure bet for those who see fit to invest in it. It's current reputation should be reversible. I don't think it's as hopeless as trying to change the reputation of American "football" in Europe, for example.
    That's obviously a lost cause. In fact the rest of the world would never take such a stupid game seriously when they have grown up with such obviously superior alternatives(as in less expensive, requiring more athleticism, and more deserving of the name) in the same vein. The same barriers to expansion can be predicted in the case of baseball or cricket. The point is that some sports just don't seem like good bets.

    The good news is that badminton seems to be popular in a lot of places and even in a lot of places where it isn't played at a particularly high level. The same might be said of soccer. Look at how popular it is in Malaysia and was in Korea even before players from the latter started to show any promise internationally. My concern for badminton is the way in which it is popular. It is popular here among players but players alone aren't enough to generate revenue. Even in countries where professional badminton seems to be more popular than anywhere else - Indonesia, China, and Malaysia - it doesn't seem to have draw in terms of the box office, merchandising, or broadcast rights. Soccer and basketball do seem to in those same countries. Every time I look at the CCTV-5 schedule, I see a little bit of badminton buried in there as a sort of intermission between NBA basketball and EPL football.
     
  20. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    hmm, could possibly be a combination of both..or just lack of professional exposures here in the U.S...:p :rolleyes:
    Hmm, i think you are getting on the same wave-length as what i had in mind...:rolleyes: I mean, think abt this, how much will it lose anyway if a big U.S. corp./individual(s) is willing to invest and sponsor the sport here even just for a brief period (either by sponsoring the players or bringing in ex-international players to play or coach here). Imagine the excitement and possibility, of having a new/different "badminton powerhouse" to emerge in IBF tournaments, other than the usual "badminton powerhouses"..Imagine what will that do to the image (as well as the pocketbook) of IBF: badminton is now a pretty mainstream sport in the U.S.;) :rolleyes: :cool:
     

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