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

Discussion in 'vBCms Comments' started by MysticHLE, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. MysticHLE

    MysticHLE Regular Member

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  2. canti

    canti Regular Member

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    entrance prices are pretty reasonable imo, except for the ones that charge 8$. Bintang and bbc are good prices at 5-6$ for students and 7 for adults. They also allow you to stay as long as you want with a great queing system. I mean as a high school student and no job i had trouble gathering 6$ a week to go play but i just picked up some quarters everyday till i got enough haha. As for coaching I think the prices are alittle farfetched. 140 a month for 1 hour lessons once a week i wish i could afford that. And when you add in the price of equipment your basically left with nothing as a college or high school student. However equpiment wise i have been able to save money. I wait until big closeout sales are in, or i shop online for the cheapest (real) rackets. Or you can even umpire for bay area open and they give you free stuff. All are easy ways to save money on equipment.
    Is badminton worth this cost? I've been paying and playing for 4 years. I believe it is.
     
  3. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    if u look back in 20 years, u'll be glad u did instead of blowing your money on an exotic car, or booze or some nigerian scams:p
     
  4. eeyore12345

    eeyore12345 Regular Member

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    haahahha. I totally agree to this. I think 5 bucks is ideal rate. Most of the time, we only play for 3-4 hours anyways.
     
  5. Blurry D

    Blurry D Regular Member

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    7 Bucks per hour is pretty good.. in malaysia it is at least RM 25 per hour on a weekday. with the assumption that it is dollar for dollar.
     
  6. Sevex

    Sevex Regular Member

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    $7 is expensive?! Come to the UK, where I live, unless you buy gym membership (only the most expensive option comes with free court hire) then you're looking at £8 an hour. Or roughly $12. After which the next group comes along and you'll have to leave (unless you're lucky).

    This makes joining a club an imperative (at say on average £60 a year, much better :) ), the only problem is they don't play singles. Could this be why the UK never produces decent singles players?

    With these prices juniors can't play unless part of a junior club (which are rare), being naturally sporty and getting into county teams fast or having badminton loving parents who encourage them to play. As a result a lot of local league teams are shutting down, as there are no mediocre players coming up from junior level, only county players.

    Where I went to school there was little in the way of inter school badminton, although at universities things are much better.

    I wonder if Badminton England's solutions will resolve these problems? I'm still not sure if enough if being done at junior level to encourage players. Senior level has improved recently with some events encouraging social players to move up to local league.

    I have to say that where I live badminton isn't dominated by Chinese or other Asian country players and neither do they separate themselves from the English speaking majority in any way. In fact sport is very good at integrating ethnic minorities into communities where they may otherwise feel out of place.

    Thanks for the very good article highlighting the problems facing badminton development in your area.
     
  7. extremenanopowe

    extremenanopowe Regular Member

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    Well, it coincides with inflation I guess. Free market will definitely push the price higher. I think the best racket should be 100usd max. Rediculous to charge more. Problem is sponsorship; the stars demand the price. Unless you can boycott those expensive one? Due to ego, people what to look like stars. So, there will still be supporters or someone who is rich enough to burn their money.
     
  8. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    don't forget median income of Malaysians isn't close to 77,000 USD/year either...
     
  9. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    i think free market pushes price down not up, unless of course, u came from a subsidized or a distorted market:p
     
    #9 cooler, Jun 15, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  10. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    A better facility charging for higher premium seems very normal to me. I'm actually not sure what all the complaints are about. I suppose places like ICC are multi-purpose. They can fit line-dancing, basketballs and badminton to fill the gym time. Most other dedicated badminton gym is, well, dedicated to badminton. They can't amortize their gym time as well.

    Also, for the financially strapped, they can stay with the more affordable choices. It's because of the price differential that keep these other options afloat.

    As for some schools/clubs only use Chinese, well, I guess we're talking about minority here only. Most of them do use English, and most offer coaches that can speak comprehensible English.

    You don't like black hair, yellow skin figures? But just look around the top scene, the dominating countries are all like that, except Denmark.
     
  11. MysticHLE

    MysticHLE Regular Member

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    The point of what I wrote isn't to compare prices between gyms/countries. It is also not focused towards the simple fact that advertisements are ethnically biased.

    The main point here is to illustrate that such current conditions in the badminton community here in the San Francisco Bay Area only serve as a detrimental factor of badminton development on the larger scale within mainstream United States/North America.
     
  12. druss

    druss Regular Member

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    I read through the entire article and it was fairly well written but making the comparison with more "popular" sports doesn't make much sense. To be honest, tennis, which has a much wider audience, still doesn't get that much funding either. Mind you the facilities (outdoor) are cheaper to build and maintain.

    Badminton, to those of us who play it, is a passion and will remain so in North America. You don't play badminton in NA for the prospects of financial gain because there literally is none. You have to be in the top 1% of the players in the world to even think of making a living off of playing badminton.

    The reason that basketball, baseball, football, hockey and even tennis and golf are so popular is because there is the prospect of huge financial gains if you get to the top. That is not the case with badminton.

    I admit that I am asian and going through school I was a member of the track, tennis and badminton teams. Tennis is about the only one that you could possibly make a living in.

    The other thing is that none of these businesses from racket manufacturers and badminton facilities do any of this for charity. Sure some of it may be over priced like high end Yonex and LiNing rackets, but we can't sustain a sport if the companies go out of business either. As a business, you charge what the market can bare. If they are still busy at whatever they are charging then there is no incentive to lower the rates... why would you?
     
    #12 druss, Jun 15, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  13. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    i disagree. I think badminton in the US/NA is progressing, slow but progressing.
    Just because it isn't working out for you doesn't mean SF bay area badminton is bad for badminton development.
     
  14. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    i think he is also saying the same thing. he thinks it will progress faster with a different target audience.
     
  15. alexh

    alexh Regular Member

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    Just think of how much money some students spend going to movies or rock concerts, or even just hanging out in bars. $8 for a couple of hours doing something you enjoy? Sounds like a bargain to me.
     
  16. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    For the OP, maybe you can come up with at least one proposal of what you think you can do (if you've the resources) to help better promote badminton in US. You need to take into account realistically your cash flow also. Maybe then you'd realize it might not be that easy. Or maybe you'd actually propose something that could be adopted eventually.

    You mentioned about Peter Gade. Well, just how would this figure be used to help? I'm sure it's not impossible to invite him over to conduct a clinic, out of his busy professional schedule, though not sure at what price. And then what does this do to the other ethnic groups (or general public) that don't already know Peter Gade??

    As far as the complaints about pricing, I think to a certain extent that is a resolvable issue, if one is creative enough. The mentioned drop-in price is not the only way one can pay for the entry. You have lunch time price, multi-entry pass, monthly membership, annual membership, junior membership. I'm wondering if communities like ICC or others would offer all these packages. Just earlier, Bintang at SF offered annual membership of $200/year. Similar deal was offered by GGBC, and now in CBA. If you play often enough, you actually would save money as a result of these packages as opposed to paying drop-in at other places.

    If a student doesn't have the pocket money, maybe he/she can get "advance" from his parents, with promise of being a good kid/student? After all, the idea of borrowing money is not new (like in mortgage). If you still can't afford this, then just stay with the community centers and high schools, as virtually all of us did at one time before any dedicated gyms were developed. What's the problem?

    Also, you need to realize not everyone that starts a gym proclaims to promote the sport to the general public. Still, is that a problem? On the other hand, I think we're beginning to see more media involvement (with TV broadcast of local events, though still not frequent enough).
     
    #16 raymond, Jun 15, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2010
  17. eeyore12345

    eeyore12345 Regular Member

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    actually. I think he is saying that: We don't need that much gym. More gym = more money, diluted population and overall discourage people from playing.

    Pleasanton, ICC and even highschool open gym used to be packed because of less people. Now more gyms, everyone is playing somewhere else. Z badminton have like an average of 10 players max every night. Used to have like 30-50 people. UBC have way fewer people than before. And ICC and pleasanton. Same thing happened to them. He's saying the opening of gyms is spreading out the players and therefore, not as fun as before.


    Honestly... would you rather be at a gym where it's packed and everyone wants to play or be at a gym with about 4 or 5 other people around you.. or worse case.. only you and your buddy?
     
  18. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    Either way is not good. The situation is not just more gym, with more available play time. However, I think the case of having less people is more easily solvable than the former one when the gyms are jam-packed. Again, you just need more creativity - e.g. use B.F. to organize a group or join a group to play.

    Having lots of people really is not necessarily good, if most people there are not at your play level. When I go to a gym, I want to play, rather than to wait.
     
  19. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    u can see mystic's first post is kinda confusing, leading mix response of his message. We hear that cost is getting too high. Now i hear too many court facilties are no good, less packed, your regular groups have gone else where.:rolleyes::rolleyes:

    basic demand and supply. econ 101.
    If there are too many courts (supply), u have a buyer's market. Players shouldn't complain about fees are too high.
    U have lots of choices. Now i hear about talk of the good old days, packed gyms but cheap. i rather pay a bit more and able to play close to non stop and get out than go to a cheap fee gym and spend most of time waiting. Time is money. Waiting cost me as well.

    u guys are lucky. u have lots of choices for the middle class. I have none here. I have here super high end and super low end courts, and both are still in very limited quantity.
     
    #19 cooler, Jun 16, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  20. MysticHLE

    MysticHLE Regular Member

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    @raymond

    All of your points are valid.

    As for Peter Gade, I used him in a semi-joking manner to illustrate how he can actually add onto the diversity of badminton advertisement because of his nationality/skin color.

    The reason why I didn't exactly propose a solution or any kind of idea from my end is because I simply wanted to initiate some discussion/feedback/bring the issue to surface. I'm sure you'd agree that the issue of the sport's popularity is not just up to one person or a single entity to solve - and that's why I've tried to initiate some discussion/thinking with my post.

    @cooler

    You can stop acting cool preaching your basic Econ 101 concept. The post is not confusing if you follow it through and actually pay attention to my thesis in the second sentence of the first paragraph.

    To say this once again, I understand the underlining profit-driven marketing factors and push/pull forces that put the badminton economy in the state that it is in. But that is also a problem that affects the sport's popularity, isn't it?

    You can use some time to really read through and try to understand the post on its whole instead of being focused on one part and responding to it while ignoring everything else I have said here in this front page and in forums.

    -----------------------------------------------

    I realize that many of us can indeed currently afford badminton at its price, and the figures I've posted may actually be considered cheap to many of you from where you currently play.

    However, the entire point wasn't to compare how much we're paying here in the Bay Area to however much we should be expected to pay at a particular location; the point here is to distinguish the cost of facilities/advertisement/media of badminton compared to other popular sports/interests so we can better see why badminton perhaps isn't so popular like we want it to be.

    Sure, $8 for something we enjoy...for us badminton players who have the financial background to begin with and who have played this whole time...isn't so bad. But how would the $8 look to starters?

    For the average person who has never played either tennis or badminton before, if he/she were given a tennis racquet and badminton racquet of equivalent value, but without the facility fees, would he/she be more likely to play tennis or badminton? Economically under this instance, tennis is free. Badminton isn't.

    Likewise, for the average person, if a group of 6 friends of yours asked you to play football/basketball in the park with them, with only 1 ball already provided and no other equipment needed, versus even being provided a badminton racquet, but no facilities fee (again, the analogous equivalence to demonstrate the cost of facilities playing a role on decision-making), which is the average person likely to choose? Again, basketball/football would be free. Badminton isn't.

    I hope the above better illustrates my point on raising facilities fee (regardless of facility quality) impacting potential popularity of badminton for the non-badminton enthusiast.

    And the price is only ever on the increase from what we have seen over the years.

    The issue at hand here is not even a personal one, yet so many of you have been responding to it as such. I only used personal references and experiences to demonstrate a pattern and how other people my age or younger may think. Please, take a step back and try to consider it on a bigger scale from the point of view of a non-badminton enthusiast.

    kwun also understood and reiterated my point. Thank you.
     

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