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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    You don't think $27 for a single drop-in fee is too much? o_O?
     
  2. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    drop-in or monthly payment??..if it's drop in, i would definitely not do it..
     
  3. eeyore12345

    eeyore12345 Regular Member

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    hmm.. CBA monthly pass is 65 bucks. Bintang is 60 bucks. BBC is 55 and Affinity is 55. And what the hell is an initial fee. Might as well put in "private and convenience fees" I don't think initiating your name in the record cost over 100$. No, it's not monopoly but it's close to it. More like oligopoly. Look, the strong ( BBC, Bintang) gets stronger and weak (APAC, Smash City) gets weaker... They ran out of business and clubs like bintang are building the 3rd, 4th ones within years. How would upgrading the facilities and charging more promote the sports? I thought a gym is a gym. Heck a wooden gym in a community center is just as good. Personally, as long as there are good players I can play on anything.
     
  4. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    to clarify, what Lazybuddy said, $27 is for drop-in, one time. not monthly fee.
     
  5. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    i heard, from one of my friends who recently joined one of the newer clubs here in SoCal, his club charges $800 for membership for 2 yrs, before initiation fee (forgot how much)..that's not too bad, almost a deal (if one considers the facility), if one divides that amt into 24 months..

    but as kwun also mentioned, even if the clubs or gyms (in the east coast) only charge $2 or $3 or even $1 to play, most likely the amt of interested people wouldn't suddenly explode..also, the $27 for drop-in, what does that price include? i'm sure the club/organizer has to pay some rental fee for building usage??..say, if they do drop the price to, say, $2 per drop in, i wonder how many more people will flock to the gym??..

    To share again, I've been fortunate to play in 3 public gyms (2 public school gyms and 1 public park multi-purpose gym) for FREE for several yrs already. But from what i've experienced during my time playing at those places, the amt of people didn't even jump. As a matter of fact, 2 of those facilities suffered a massive droppage in interested players....so, go figure..

    So, at the end, is the issue of the problematic growth of baddy much more centered around the (over inflated) price to play or really, the overall interest is simply just not there??..
     
    #65 ctjcad, Jun 19, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010
  6. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    It might seem this way, that more expensive thus less popular. But it could also be that because it's less popular, it is therefore more expensive. It might be that no one cares about badminton at any price except LazyBuddy and his buddies. But I'll let him shed some light here himself.
     
  7. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    I already mentioned in one of my previous post - we're too fixated at drop-in price. Perhaps these clubs are more interested in getting longer term memberships (how about annual). With a membership, your per-unit cost drops drastically with frequency of your visits. Can you keep this in mind? And they also have promotion rates that are even cheaper. Why don't you (or others) just take advantage of these promotion?

    I'd think it won't be too long before the next gym open. And the promotion could be just as good/crazy as Bintang's $200/year 2 months ago. Did you (anyone) take advantage of it? If you play once a week at this rate, you're talking about $4-/play. So why are we stuck talking about "expensive" drop-in fees??
     
  8. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    It might not be "JUST" the objective differences that we're talking about. Just think about what you yourself want to do if you were to start a club (or anything else) that requires other people initial commitment. You put your capital in, and you don't know if you're gonna make enough to pay even for the rent, utilities, personnel etc.

    If you want to encourage people to commit (so you know earlier that you can break-even this year), you'd give them some incentives. If it works out to be the same whether to tie your money up for one year as a member, or pay for drop-in, why would anyone want to commit to 1 year contract?? People would be glad to let you as the gym owner to take all the risks.

    The initial group of members take the risk with the club to buy in for one somewhat uncertain year. They're promised up-front some reward (lower price). The rest don't take the same risk, and they'd have to pay a higher cost. Does it not make sense?

    Actually, in this regard, we can argue that the new gyms actually not only provide better play environment, for some they're actually cheaper, depending how you play their system.
     
  9. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    I've yet to come across a gym in Bay Area that has A/C. And no, I don't think BBC's ceiling is particularly high, or too high. In fact, I worry that my daughter's high serve could reach/touch the ceiling during tournament (and she's only 11). Maybe you only play Doubles?

    And I'm not sure if higher ceiling necessitates increase in luminous intensity. Can we not hang the light lower from the ceiling, on the side? But this would be a design issue.
     
    #69 raymond, Jun 20, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010
  10. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    I hope you already gotten a summer job this summer.:D With that, if I were you, I'd get an annual membership. Forget about the monthly pass. If you miss the initial promotion, forget it. Save your money and wait for the next new gym to open. They'd have their promotion, and this time you would get it if you're prepared.:D

    As for initiation fee, I think they're just trying to encourage people to stay with them once they join. They could have amortize it over the monthly/annual membership. But they want you to think about it if you stop renewing with them. Next time you come back, you'd have to pay for the initiation fee all over again.
     
    #70 raymond, Jun 20, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010
  11. eeyore12345

    eeyore12345 Regular Member

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    No need to remind me. But thanks. I already got an annual pass. lol. But the initial fee actually discouraged me to join them. lol. You know, it's funny how things could turn around. First they put the initial fee to help their business. Afterward, a method of luring customers to their base is to waive the initial fee. lol.
     
  12. MysticHLE

    MysticHLE Regular Member

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    Raymond, an annual membership fee isn't quite practical for me personally since I'm only back in the Bay Area two weekends every month (if I'm lucky with my school work!) even during the non-school year (taking summer session classes). If I were to buy a membership it'd be even more wasteful for me.

    As for the ceiling height, I can actually hit UBC's ceiling with backhand or any form of clear/serves if I really wanted to - but it's still enough for any actual games that I've played there - singles and doubles.

    And well, if you're going to hang lights lower from higher ceilings or on the sides, then the lights can become let issues if they're too low...and if the sides, well, there's still the cost of AC again (if we're taking that into consideration at all).

    You pointed out that they indeed want you to commit because of the commitment that they've already made, and such long term memberships would be worthwhile for anyone actually in the area.

    But once again, this isn't a personal issue that I'm trying to address - or else I wouldn't have bothered writing something so long and elaborate and carried the discussion to this length. I mean here at the U.C. Davis ARC, drop-in is $7 (although student registration here includes the optional ARC fees at around $54/quarter, which boils down to like not even $20/month), and we wouldn't get nearly the same quality of flooring for badminton courts, but since I'm there in Davis most of the time, I don't have them cancel the ARC registration fees each quarter - because I do commit myself to badminton and the gym whenever I can.

    But what about entry-level play into the sport? You wouldn't expect new-comers who just got exposed to the sport (and I'm not talking about the kids whose parents want them to play badminton for some kind of merit or recognition) to be able to commit that easily. To speak from a little bit of personal experience...I still remember when I first started playing badminton 8 years ago, I even second-guessed the worthwhile-ness at $3 per drop-in at ICC!

    Back then, I had no coaching (it would have been more money if I did, and I wouldn't have been sure about that anyway), and the rate of improvement that I personally gained was proportional to the amount of effort I put into the game, while the amount of fun each drop-in session was directly dependent on who were there (not necessarily friends...but people who were readily sociable and friendly who didn't seem to mind playing with me, while making the game challenging for me and still fun to play - even if I lose all the time) to play with me.

    So, from what I remember of myself and how I felt back then, I can imagine how it can be like for any new-comers nowadays. If they walk into half-empty community centers (assuming they are slightly interested in the sport at all from their previous experiences), chances are that they are going with their group of friends who are as clueless to how the actual game works as they are. Depending on how social they are and their willingness to play with others who do know the game well (assuming those people can be found there still), then that particular experience of theirs will most likely NOT be enough for them to *commit* to the sport to the degree in which we do. Sure, they might find it fun and then play it once in a while with that same group of friends, but they aren't exposed to how the sport can actually be like, and that image of badminton simply being a game (instead of a sport) will not change! If they do NOT go with their friends, then it's even more likely that they will not come back to play more.

    And what good will that do for popularity and participation rates of badminton...especially if most of us are committing ourselves to private clubs because those are better? It's like a self-fulfilling act...we would like badminton to be more popular, but instead of publicizing, outreaching, and promoting interest of the sport to the major public who are ignorant of the sport (best would be to start with young kids at public schools, I think), most of us would instead stick to private clubs and advertise the club to the same group of people who are already playing/interested in playing - and hope that that would eventually lead to publicizing the sport?

    Well, that hasn't been happening for the past 5+ years. With the extra revenues generated, instead of marketing to a larger and different audience, large private clubs like Bintang are building their 3rd, 4th, etc. establishments - it's clearly a profit-driven focus at this point. One may argue that eventually with enough expansions and lack of profits gained from simply expanding, those private clubs can/will start publicizing and advertising the sport to a difference audience. But will they really? And when?
     
    #72 MysticHLE, Jun 20, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010
  13. mettayogi

    mettayogi Regular Member

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    How can the image of badminton be changed in SF bay area? I think both PR and grass-root outreach is needed.

    PR can focus on glamor or fun. youtube video of LYD smash splitting a watermelon is cool; it would be even better if it's in English. We can have more of that.

    Grass root outreach aims to expose more people to real badminton; e.g. exhibition matches in high school gyms or festivals. Or as simple as a quality educational badminton DVD targeted at high school students, or badminton documentary on PBS.

    Although exhibition matches have been held in the bay area in the past, it is understandably held in a club and targeted more towards enthusiasts. To promote the popularity of badminton, it should be held more often and can be done by club's elite/Jr. elite teams, just like piano recitals by piano students.
     
  14. alan06

    alan06 Regular Member

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    well written article! Though I'm glad badminton is getting more popular, it is only getting popular among asians. With the prices like that, it is difficult for young adults i.e. college kids ..with limited incomes to spend that much on a sport that requires a significant training in order to fully enjoy the sport.
     
  15. drowsysmurf

    drowsysmurf Regular Member

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    Just read the article. Here's my 2 bits. If you play 3x a week, you're bound to go through 1 tube of feather. Let's say a decent tube of feather is $15 - at 52 weeks a year, that is $780. Let's say you do play 3x a week, chances are every 2-3 month there will be a restring job (let's say 3 month) - at 12 month a year, that is 4x$15 (bg65) which amounts to $60. Total so far $840. Now membership... I'm not sure what the Bay Area price is right now but when I had one it was $35/mth (and there was tons of people to play with). Now let's say it is $45/mth (they have discount if you sign up with a buddy... go find that buddy), at 12 months/year that is $540. Grand total $1380/year for an enthusiast. Like other stuff, badminton is technically a hobby (unless you aim to play professional in which case, if you are already in college and have no sponsor... that's pretty hard to get one unless ur are magically super good after all those years of playing). Being that it is a hobby, should you not create your own budget? Nothing in the world is free and there are always alternatives. Play at a high school, play at a college, those are typically cheaper. You want something readily available... then pay to play. It is almost like saying... i wanna swim in a really good pool (typically college pools or a gym with pool facility and i'm talking about a real pool with real lanes to swim laps), but i don't want to pay to swim because it is too expensive... then go to ymca, go to the beach and swim in the ocean, swim in the lakes... but if you want to swim laps, pay the money (i have yet to find a laned pool that is free).

    All that said, it really boils down to how you budget your money for this hobby. Give up something else, sell that laptop since you have a desktop. Buy a desktop and sell the laptop since the desktop is cheaper for the same specs. Don't drive to class, ride a bike to class or walk to class. You want 2 LCDs for that computer? Sacrafice one because the 2nd will cost you another $150. Upgrade your computer? Why don't you just play less computer games. You got a PS3? How many games do you have, how many do you really play... sell those unplayed games... better yet, give up PS3 since the time you spend on PS3, you can spend in gym. Saves you electric bill, buying new games, new controller, renting or buying those blu-ray. Got a 52" LCD? Do you really need something that big? Anyway... some things might apply to all people and maybe none of this might apply to some people, but you get the idea... if you want a hobby, you need to learn to budget for it or give up one thing or another, if you don't, make sure your hobby pays for itself. Some people pick up photography for hobby and they buy a $1000 camera, 2 $1000(each) lens because the lens is everything. They buy the best flash cards because they want to be able to take that 15 frames per second. The buy that really nice flash because they want to make pictures looks its best, etc... How can they pay that off? Start taking pictures for a small party, at a wedding, etc... learn to get that good. Analogy to badminton - maybe train that next kid that doesn't have enough money to pay for a club trainer but still want to learn with the money he has. Shuttles cost a bunch, maybe look into import export to pay for the sport (you might even make a business out of it... shuttlecombo started out online i think and they seem like they have decent sales).

    Just saying it is expensive and not looking for ways to cut your cost isn't going to make these gyms cut their cost. You don't notice, these gyms have rent to pay, the lights are on all day so the bill is high, they have to buy those equipment, maintain the gym, hire coaches, hire people to keep the gym clean (i don't know about UBC, they just sound irresponsible and sounds like it will shut down soon according to you since maintenance isn't done). They all end up costing a lot and these people that start gyms, that's all they do and they have to feed themselves too. Part of it is them loving or knowing the sport or else they would probably not have open one, the other part, they also want to make money.

    By the way, i don't make that median income, don't drive a fancy car, cycle to work sometimes, picked up photography when i injured my leg in badminton (no badminton, got money to spend on something else), string rackets on the side (to pay off the machine before paying off the sport), I do have everything i listed above (tv and all probably because i don't readily have access to badminton gym except certain nights per week during the quarter (play at a college) and the hours is as late as 9pm - 11pm (and i still go in even if i work the next day at 8am).

    Budget and sacrafices... that's how you keep some hobbies.
     
    #75 drowsysmurf, Jun 25, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  16. drowsysmurf

    drowsysmurf Regular Member

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    Forgive my last post... its kinda late so i didn't read all the comemnts. when i posted, it threw me back to the bottom of page one and saw your comments on non-enthusiast... they typically don't play that much and therefore it doesn't cost them that much? They may play once a week or once every 2 weeks. It is those that play 3x/week or more (in my books, they're enthusiast) that will be hit but the cost. As for a beginner... if you do want to play 3x/week, then you must have the want to get really good... find alternatives... maybe go once a week for 5 hrs... during the week, hit a shuttle against the wall, learn to get consistency, speed, accuracy (hitting one spot all the time) etc... take lessons from someone like you eventually to improve on the missing portions (positioning in doubles, etc) want to be pro... then get a real coach and get sponsored then :)
     
  17. drowsysmurf

    drowsysmurf Regular Member

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    oops forgot to address one thing... if it goes up to $10, i won't be going everyday... i would think that sucks but hey... itz dedicated so maybe go once a week or something...
     
  18. vipjun

    vipjun Regular Member

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    I think the issue the author is trying to make is that, for badminton to become more popular, there needs to be some kind of very low cost alternative to paying court fees. More or less the only way to do this is government / non-porfit for example: if they put up more badminton nets at parks.

    Compared to other indoor sports the prices he's listed are pretty low for the U.S. for facility rental.

    Billiards - $5 per hr person
    ping pong - $10+ per table
    Bowling - $2 per game

    Here in New York, most private run facilities have a day rate of $10 - $25.
    The only exception is membership to nyc parks & recreation (government) which cost $70 a year. The trade-off is you can only play badminton certain times of the week at each area. For the $70 i play only 2-4 hrs a week.
     
  19. vorxaw

    vorxaw Regular Member

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    Just a small comment on the piece. It needs a concise opening, stating your argument. We have to read way too many paragraphs without knowing where it will go.
     
  20. egibney

    egibney Regular Member

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    If the prices keep going up it's only because demand is not being met by the supply. As long as there are more and more people playing badminton, the price is going to go up as space becomes limited. If these facilities aren't going out of business (yet), then the assumption is that they keep opening up because the demand hasn't been met. More facilities is not a problem, more people playing is the problem (not a problem I mind).
     

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