KUALA LUMPUR: World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei has certainly attained the status of a sports superstar in the country with a latest sponsorship deal.
Yesterday, Chong Wei landed a lucrative deal to be the brand ambassador for isotonic drink makers 100Plus.
It is learnt that the two-year deal is worth RM500,000 and it is one of the biggest single sponsorship deals for a badminton player from a corporate sector.
In the partnership, the 2008 Beijing Olympics silver medallist Chong Wei will be on a mission to raise the standard of the singles shuttlers in four states — Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Sabah and Penang.
“I am honoured to be an ambassador of 100Plus. I am thankful for the support from the sponsors and the BAM (Badminton Association of Malaysia),” said Chong Wei.
“As an ambassador, I will be conducting four coaching clinics in KL, Johor Baru, Kota Kinabalu and Penang with my coach, Misbun (Sidek). We will probably go to different states next year.
“We will spend some time with the youngsters to fan the fire in them and get them all excited about badminton. I will be travelling when my schedule as an international player is not too hectic.
“We need a fresh batch of singles players for the country and I will do all I can to ensure that interest in badminton remains alive.”
The 27-year-old Chong Wei hoped that the juniors would be encouraged to take up the sport as it was financially rewarding too.
“Sponsors come looking for me because of my badminton results. It certainly pays to be a successful badminton player. This can be a strong motivation for the juniors,” he said.
Among his other main sponsors are Yonex, Proton and Maxis. He also receives monetary incentives from the National Sports Council (NSC) and the BAM for his successes and he has endorsed many products too.
Chong Wei is also the national goodwill ambassador of the United Nations Children Fund (Unicef) Malaysia.
Chong Wei added that the latest deal would further boost his morale ahead of the world championships, which will be held in Hyderabad from Aug 10-16, and keep him highly motivated in his bid to become the first Malaysian badminton world champion. The BAM president, Datuk Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, hoped that Chong Wei would maintain his status as world No. 1 to enjoy more benefits.
“He has to keep up with his good work to get more sponsors.
“We will, however, ensure that there will be no compromise on Chong Wei’s obligations as a national player,” he said.
“We hope he is even more motivated to live up to his top ranking in the world championships.”