KUALA LUMPUR: The Badminton World Federation (BWF) have declared that they will be making “tens of millions” in revenue from commercial rights in the next cycle from 2014-2018.
And Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) secretary Ng Chin Chai hoped that they would channel some of it to the annual World Championships as prize money in a bid to make the tournament more appealing.
This year’s World Championships will be held in Guangzhou in August while Denmark will host it next year.
The world meet is held annually, except for the Olympic Games year, and is the second most prestigious tournament in the BWF’s calendar after the Olympics.
The world meet, however, does not offer prize money.
Chin Chai said it was high time that BWF repackaged the World Championships, which began in 1977, by introducing prize money.
“It’s great to hear that BWF are making money. Finally, the world body can think about offering prize money for the World Championships. Lucrative prize money will be good for the sport … it’ll raise the profile of the tournament,” said Chin Chai.
“The BWF are already increasing the prize money for their Super Series and Grand Prix Gold events. By injecting big bucks into the world meet, it will attract more countries to participate. Countries like the United States, Russia and Germany are strong sporting nations but they are not very competitive in badminton. But I am sure that lucrative prize money will lure them.”
BWF secretary general Thomas Lund said in a press statement that the world body’s financial success signalled badminton’s rising stature in the “sports entertainment industry” and the confidence that their commercial partners had in BWF.
“We’re about to see significant increases in revenue from our commercial partnerships and we’re excited about what this means for the future of badminton and the plans we have for further development,” said Lund, who is also the BWF chief operating officer.
During the next cycle, the five hosts of the Super Series Premier tournaments – China, Denmark, England, Malaysia and Indonesia – will each offer a minimum prize money of US$500,000 (2014; 2015). It will be increased to a minimum of US$550,000 in 2016 and US$600,000 in 2017.
“This is a significant boost from the US$350,000 for 2011 and 2012 and US$400,000 for this year. We want to give players as much financial incentive as possible to perform their best each time they are on court. Fans, sponsors, media are attracted to BWF tournaments because we have the best shuttlers in action – so players deserve to share in the rewards,” said Lund.