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  1. #103
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    Well, I have been reading on the side line. I would like to voice my opinion.

    In terms of popularity and marketing appeal, well US has its man Armstrong in Tour de France. Not many man can match his winning record or his story recovering from cancer and then winning the Tour de France one more time. However, how wide is the local support on the road racing circuit in US? How often is the bicycle racing being shown on US TV or US prime time TV?

    Golf is quite popular in North America. Almost every major US resort has a golf course nearby. Lots of money are spent on clubs, membership, green fee, and lesson. Again, US has a few pretty good players on the sport - Tiger Wood and a master player (I think) Jack Nickolson [sic?]. When was the last time that you saw a game broadcast in evening prime time? Most of the broadcast are on Sat/Sun.

    Tennis is popular in US with lots of *** appeal but most of the final are broadcast on Sat or Sun around noon. Not evening prime time (well except US Open in NYC).

    The sports that I have seen and broadcast in the evening prime time in North American TV are basketball, America football, ice hockey, World Series baseball (it is funny - only North American teams are in this "world" series) and Olympics.

    These days sport is no longer a fun, enterainting, or good for the body activities anymore. In order to attract attention (good or bad), it will need controversy, *** appeal, struggle that every audience can relay, money, or violence (blood, guts or glory). Otherwise, there are so many things that will pull our attention away (eg. making a living, family issue, buying something, going somehwere for vacation, or staying alive etc). Our attention span is getting shorter and we want result faster.

    Is money the answer to get badminton into the spotlight? Look at golf vs soccer in North America. Golf has lots of money in North America. Does golf has an event similar to the World Cup in soccer (for its viewing audience)?

    Well, is a US "hero" athelete important? There is the Tour de France Armstrong. There are many US track and field atheletes. However, these atheletes were popular during the specific event. After that, they have to go back to their quite life and train for the next event.

    Business has to answer to shareholder. They are not willing to put money into any venture without doing a market study. Business/people want to be associated with something that are in the forefront/exciting/have a feeling like sending a chill down your spine/meeting the love of your life.

    If you have the answer to all my questions, i think you are the most successful pitch man/woman in this world.

    Badminton (to me) is a physical chess game. I have to out-think and out-manoeuvre my opponent. I only have control of my head and my body. Anything outside the lines are beyond my influence. It has its ups and downs - just like life. I can introduce young players into the sport but staying with badminton is their choice. I do not want to play the sport with someone who does not want to be there. I love the game. Am I willing to do anything to get it into the spotlight?

    My answer is no. I definitively do not want to see a John McEnroe type player yelling at the umpire or the line person about a call. When that happens, it is no longer a sport that I want to be associated with. Badminton is still a sport that when the shuttle hits your opponent, we still raise our hand to show a sign of apology. It is not a sport that you yell and complain just because you did not score the point.

    Just my vent.
    Last edited by OTFK; 04-22-2005 at 04:40 PM.

  2. #104
    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wood_22_chuck
    Hmmmm ... if this postulation is correct, shouldn't we be lobbying YONEX instead of IBF?

    -dave
    we are lobbying Yonex. at least my original article was directed at Yonex and not the IBF.

  3. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by OTFK
    In terms of popularity and marketing appeal, well US has its man Armstrong in Tour de France. Not many man can match his winning record or his story recovering from cancer and then winning the Tour de France one more time. However, how wide is the local support on the road racing circuit in US? How often is the bicycle racing being shown on US TV or US prime time TV?
    Well, The thing here is really that there haven't been many Armstrong Races to show on TV (apart from big events like Tiour de france which gets lots of tv coverage). Bicycle races in general gets quite a lot of media coverage in europe (seen lots of bike races on eurosport for example), even though you can't say it really is a "TV friendly" kind of sport. Heck He's even sponsored by a TV Channel :-) http://team.discovery.com/bios/armstrong.html

    I Think we would all be VERY happy if we got as much attention for badminton as ther is for bicycle races.. It would at least be one step forward .-)


    Quote Originally Posted by OTFK
    Golf is quite popular in North America. Almost every major US resort has a golf course nearby. Lots of money are spent on clubs, membership, green fee, and lesson. Again, US has a few pretty good players on the sport - Tiger Wood and a master player (I think) Jack Nickolson [sic?]. When was the last time that you saw a game broadcast in evening prime time? Most of the broadcast are on Sat/Sun.
    I was over in US last weeks.. There was live coverage daily for many hours sent from Augusta International. There is golf on ESPN,ABC,CBS, USA etc etc.. and heck there is even a dedicated Golf Channel over in US.. I think the reason why you don't see golf much on prime time is to much extent by nature of the game (Played in the nature during daytime, when the sun is high, and takes 6-10 hours for one round... So live coverage will of course be on non prime-time hours.
    So IMOP.. If badminton got even close to the coverage of Golf in media..It would be like Nirvana for me :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by OTFK
    Tennis is popular in US with lots of *** appeal but most of the final are broadcast on Sat or Sun around noon. Not evening prime time (well except US Open in NYC).
    Once again... as it's in many cases an outdoor games. The tournaments are usually scheduled to be played during sat/sun mid-day..So live-TV coverage will naturally be based on this. It also does make sense not to compete with even more popular games (like fotball, basket) during prime-time to get most possible media coverage of the tennis tournaments..
    Still alot media coverage, and with the Williams, Kourikova etc (profile-players) attention, money and coverage has increased for example for women tennis!

    Quote Originally Posted by OTFK
    Is money the answer to get badminton into the spotlight? Look at golf vs soccer in North America. Golf has lots of money in North America. Does golf has an event similar to the World Cup in soccer (for its viewing audience)?
    The Situation in US is a little bit special as NFL fotball is of such huge interest (In most other countries, soccer enjoys the status that NFL has in US). On a World wide scale I think there is probably much more money in soccer (games, tickets, betting, marketing, sponsorships, leagues all ower the world), than in golf, so i don't find it strange that world cup have more viewers than for example the Augusta international Golf tournament. I am amaezed how much media coveragr golf gets being such a "slow" game.. (I love to play golf, don't get me wrong.. But watching it on TV is nowhere near as exiting as watching a close Badminton singles game :-) ). So I think it's fair to say Golf ny nature is rather TV-unfriendly but still manages to get good productions and airtime!

    Quote Originally Posted by OTFK
    Well, is a US "hero" athelete important? There is the Tour de France Armstrong. There are many US track and field atheletes. However, these atheletes were popular during the specific event. After that, they have to go back to their quite life and train for the next event.
    Yes, the thing is that they DO get media coverage when the next "big" events happen. the problem for these sports is that the non-major events doesn't get interest.. Only the major ones.. This would be like havinga huge interest for maybe the All-england, World Championships and Olympics in Badminton but not much for the other tournaments ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by OTFK
    My answer is no. I definitively do not want to see a John McEnroe type player yelling at the umpire or the line person about a call. When that happens, it is no longer a sport that I want to be associated with. Badminton is still a sport that when the shuttle hits your opponent, we still raise our hand to show a sign of apology. It is not a sport that you yell and complain just because you did not score the point.
    I don't dismiss Tennis as a "rude" sport just because John MacEnroe didn't behave as well as our own belowed Swede Björn Borg ;-)
    If i enjoyed the game (I really don't enjoy to play tennis much) I would not stop playing the game just because some people playing it behave badly..
    If someone is screaming and yelling and playing the game at the highest level, I would not like that person to win.. But It would probably make me even more eager to watch the game and see him humiliated by a better more disciplined player :-)

    /Twobeer

  4. #106
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    Let us look at this from another perspective. What would happen to badminton if Yonex were to get out of the badminton business? Would it die a natural death? Or would it set the game back temporarily, as the Yonex-sponsored countries come to terms with the funding cutoff, followed by a new rebirth of new sponsors or even new and innovative ways to promote the game. When so major badminton countries are so dependent on a single sponsor, I just have a gut feeling this is not taking us anywhere.

  5. #107
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    asking yonex to do all the job is asking too much ,dont u think.but one of the things that amazes me the most about this sport is that u will find even a one month amateur with an expensive yonex racket.it's like this in our country so i can only imagine the case in indonesia etc.so considering that they are 'minting' money u could say they ought to have done more than they have.

    Is yonex the main sponsor for the Sudirman cup??

  6. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaN_fAn
    asking yonex to do all the job is asking too much ,dont u think.but one of the things that amazes me the most about this sport is that u will find even a one month amateur with an expensive yonex racket.it's like this in our country so i can only imagine the case in indonesia etc.so considering that they are 'minting' money u could say they ought to have done more than they have.

    Is yonex the main sponsor for the Sudirman cup??
    Well it's an IBF event, so I guess the general ibf / yonex deal is in place sponsorship wise..

    /Twobeer

  7. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loopy

    Have you guys seen the coverage of the 2004 Junior Championship in Richmond, BC, Canada made by TSN?
    Even the show really sucked, and the guy made comments like "Wow! Badminton is so speedy ... or needs acceleration... or it's so quick!"....
    Yes, that was lame, but it's a start. We need more TV coverage. We need more events worldwide. We need majors done in North America. That Junior event was the first time a badminton event was made in north american soil (I think). So it's already a good start.
    We need a canadian or american champion to make the sport popular.
    Look at what Tiger Woods brought to golf and the masses. Golf became more popular because of him. Canadians played more golf because of Mike Weir.
    Yes! I stayed up until 1am to watch that championship on TSN the other night. (and I am proud of it because it is first time ever for me to watch badminton on NorthAmerica TV.) I agreed with loopy that the show didn't do much. It showed the last 3 to 5 points of the men's singles final and 3 to 5 points in the men's doubles final over 30 minutes. The games were great, but commentary was flat. I was thinking of muting him out and just watch the game.

    To make the popular cycle, there has to be a turning point of sorts. This is what I have observed from another competition:

    Poker (which is not a physical sport) is getting more popular here in the past 5 years due to the increased TV coverage (on TSN), thus more NA tournaments, then money from sponsor, then more players joining and getting good competition, which makes more people want to watch the TV coverage.
    Poker's rise in popularity started from the TV coverage, after some guy was able to mount tiny cameras to allow TV viewer to peek the cards that a player holds. This gives viewer "an edge" in seeing how the game unfolds. Then viewer can see the bidding, bluffing and strategies better and TV producers can dramatized it.
    Of course, on-line casinos helped it's rise as well.

    To make badminton more marketable, someone has to figure out a way to make it more enjoyable to watch on TV.

    .tom

  8. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dot-tom
    To make badminton more marketable, someone has to figure out a way to make it more enjoyable to watch on TV.

    .tom
    It's coming... those big mother of panel and projection TVs
    It makes following the shuttle easier for non badminton viewers.

  9. #111
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    Unhappy Popularity Of Badminton

    Soccer is so much big because sponsors have things to attract viewers, Nokia is one of the sponsors and they attract viewers by having quizzes with great prizes to be won.
    Whereas Yonex is the only sponsor for badminton tournament and the only attraction yonex has is the introduction of new racquets and kits which aren't free.
    Playing soccer is not expensive, you can spend for a ball, shirts and stuffs for US$150.00 in a year, wearing and using them forever. But Badminton for me is in a year I could spend up to US$500.00, when I broke one raquet or string I have to buy a new one, endless supply of Yonex shuttlecocks (I try to reduce using much but friends use Ashaway which is slow for me) and also renting courts. In my country we have a few free venues but could only play for a limited time since lots of people are queueing to play. So the only option to play at the fullest for hours is renting a private court.

    Almost everybody loves badminton but it's the money issue and the attraction is not that much. Some live tournaments are shown on Supersports Channel but always at the wrong time, thats always when we are at work. Soccer, F1, Golf, Tennis and Snooker is 24hrs a day on ESPN. I hope Starsports will have live coverage for this coming Sudirman Cup.

  10. #112
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    OK, how about looking at badminton on a broader scale.

    Badminton is a sport. Badminton is JUST one of the many sports human plays on earth, and like all other sports, there are rules, good players, bad players, tournaments to differentiate the goods and bads. We play a sport for fun, and we play to win. etc... etc...

    But why are some sports more popular? What makes a sport popular? What makes people to WANT to go play that sport, and be a champion, be a star of that sport? What makes people to want to watch that sport, and feel proud to be a player or a supporter of that sport?

    1. MONEY (makes the world go around). 2. MEDIA (make something known to everyone).

    Turn it into a business. As I mentioned in my previous post on this topic, turn a sport to a business. To make badminton a business, it has to be a joint effort of not just equipment manufacturers, or IBF, but cash pumpers (ie commercial sponsors). Let sponsors see this sport as an investment, as a profit-making business, as a way to promote sponsors' names.

    Look at football, F1, tennis... See the amount of sponsors these sports attract?

    May be one suggestion from me. I guess the level of interest of Badminton in other less badminton-popular countries should be raised. Apart from money, a nation wants to be good at the sport, so the nationals can be proud of it. IBF can try create more tournaments based on level of play. For example, a Premier group for Indonesia, China, Korea, denmark.... and may be a Division One group for the next level down, and Division Two for another level down... so this gives more opportunity and more importantly raise the interest for a nation to put effort into doing well in Badminton. At this moment, I think some countries are very frustrated that this sport has long been dominated by the very few countries (and sorry to say mostly Asian countries). IBF can drive more nations into playing this sport, and arouse the interest of more people into playing it, and becoming a champion, a national pride.

    Money, media coverage, and pride, will make any sport popular.

  11. #113
    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    here is some thoughts i had after chatting with a local coach over the weekend.

    we already know that IBF is setting up a IBF training center in Houston, TX. the center will be focusing on junior development for the Pan-American region. the idea is that if they provide good solid training for juniors in the region, then it will boost the quality of future pro players in the Pan-American region.

    what is less publicized is that they are also delegating representatives in each country's sub-region to seek out talented juniors to send to these IBF training centers. eg, there are a handful of regions in the US (5 i think), and each one will have a coach representative, these will be responsible in some extent to scout for players, and in turn these players will be nurtured in Houston initially. if they reach a higher level, they will be sent to yet another higher level training center (in Europe, for example).

    there is a good level of organization in the whole system, and obviously people involved in the IBF have made detailed thoughts about it.

    the goal is to provide a good grassroot level of support to nurture a professional from the Pan-Am region who can be groomed to become a WC or a Olympic gold medalist. they are not talking about 2008, not 2012, probably 2020. it is a good structure imho.

    however, what i believe is missing is not the focus on developing grassroots, but instead, the problem is too thin a layer of seeds.

    there are many juniors talented in sports in this country. the excellent level of nutrition in the US and other Pan-Am countries will result in many youngster who are very healthy physically and mentally. very important factors to be a talent.

    however, most of these talented youngster will be turning into superbowl, basketball, baseball stars. 99.99% of them will not even turn an eye to badminton. why? because "no one cares about this backyard sport".

    and their parents will not help either, 99.99% of the parents won't even consider letting their kids go pro in badminton. my gosh, what is the future?

    and the problems lies in the same problem we have described. mass media coverage, public awareness, lack of real knowledge of the sports of badminton. lack of money.

    only the most talented out of the most talented will ever reach the very top echelon of badminton. if the selection pool is small, the chance that one will run into such a talent of talents will be small. the development mechanism needs to be in place, but the IBF (and USAB) also need to worry about the size of the pool. otherwise, they are limiting their chances of finding such a talent. who most likely will end up in a basketball court or hockey rink instead.

    the same thing needs to happen, the IBF (or Yonex?) need to do more publicity campaign. make people aware, help boost the image of badminton. talk to schools, talk to parents. we must stop losing our talents to soccer and basketball.

  12. #114
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Well, Kwun, I'm glad you now feel more about the obstacles confronting the future of badminton in the US.

    If a big and rich country like the US will find it difficult to engage the talented to be trained as badminton pros, imagine how much more difficult it is for smaller industrialized, urbanized and middle-income countries like Singapore? The badminton people involved (principally the SBA) will have to work very much harder!

    It is much easier for the economically less-developed but highly populous countries, like what China was once, to scout, select and groom young talents to become professionals as the rewards are still better than the other professions or trades. But with increasing wealth and higher standards of living, less parents will want their children to turn pro, unless the government, national badminton associations and sponsors increased their incentives and social benefit programmes to make it attractive as a secure career with a future.

    That's one reason why I feel that, inspite of its limited resources and small size, Singapore has done relatively well in this regard. It has attracted parents to place their talented children in the Sports School; badminton is played in almost all the schools in Singapore and they have the facilities to support the growth in badminton interest. We have to start them young and continue to engage their interest.

    Whilst facilities are necessary hardwares, the softwares (such as people with ideas) are equally important to support the system to its fullest. It extends to getting the commitment of commercial houses like Yonex, Aviva, Siam Cement, etc, to understand why they should be involved in the promotion of badminton in a bigger way than presently!

  13. #115
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    in fact, i think it is more difficult for a large country like the US to get thing organized. the size is more of a disadvantage than advantage. let me explain. for the national organization to get any "organization" going, they will first run into the problem of having each state and region working together.

    for example, if they want to set up a nation-wide league system, like they do in france, it is simply not possible. with limited budget they cannot afford the traveling for regular matches. it is possible for a regional system, but that will only have a limited reach.

    and the result is that each region will do (or not do) their own piece and things will be fragmented like it is in the US right now.

  14. #116
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    size of a country may be a problem, but not an issue... look at china. if china can get something organised, why cant america..???

    the bottom line is INTEREST. if the majority of the american dont care about this sport, nothing gets organised.

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    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by winstonchan
    size of a country may be a problem, but not an issue... look at china. if china can get something organised, why cant america..???

    the bottom line is INTEREST. if the majority of the american dont care about this sport, nothing gets organised.
    I agree with you, Winston.

    Both small and large size have their advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately it is up to the leadership to seize the opportunities, organize, mobilize and initiate to realize their goals.

    I maintain that with a resource and economically-rich country like the US, things should be much easier. It is the leadership that counts. How passionate and committed are they?:"

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    Quote Originally Posted by winstonchan
    the bottom line is INTEREST. if the majority of the american dont care about this sport, nothing gets organised.
    that's a easy statement to make.
    how to get US interested?
    awareness, both public and media
    how?
    more visibility, marketing,news,
    how?
    some leadership from the top

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    Quote Originally Posted by cooler
    that's a easy statement to make.
    how to get US interested?
    awareness, both public and media
    how?
    more visibility, marketing,news,
    how?
    some leadership from the top
    yes, it's an easy statement to make, whether it's difficult to do, it's up to the american... they can make something easy, they can also make something difficult....

    to make badminton a popular sport in the US, and indeed around the world, someone has to start somewhere.... but it's a teamwork - large corporate sponsors, the local badminton associations (USBF, IBF, etc..), the media, and the government perhaps... my observation is that people START getting interested in a sport because of national pride, so i guess IF an american wins a major GP title, then badminton might get kick-started in America, then the rest (sponsors, media...blah blah blah) will very happily join in.

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