Jakarta. Badminton’s new sponsorship scheme, introduced last year, is continuing to pay dividends, with both players and the Indonesia Badminton Association finding new sponsors for the coming year.
Previously, the association, known as the PBSI, would sign a sponsorship deal with a single supplier to cover all its activities. But its new chairman, recently resigned trade minister Gita Wirjawan, has opened the market, allowing companies to sign up individual players.
The PBSI has signed a deal with Chinese sporting equipment manufacturer Li Ning to supply equipment and playing kit for the national team.
At the same time, a number of manufacturers are bidding to supply equipment to individual players as well as two of the national team’s coaches.
“The new scheme went very well with big companies such as Yonex, Li Ning and Victor joining the bid,” said senior PBSI official Joseph Halim.
“Some of the deals are for higher sums than were agreed last year, which shows how highly people regard our shuttlers.”
The individual deals cover salaries for players while they are in the national training camp, as well as bonuses should they win any events.
On Sunday, 11 new national team members, including mixed doubles rising star Praveen Jordan, signed deals with sponsors, while Li Ning signed on to supply the national team for events including the Thomas-Uber Cup and the Sudirman Cup.
While shuttlers who perform well can reap the benefits of their fine court work, those who fall below the required standards will feel the pinch.
“Shuttlers who are dismissed from the national training camp will automatically lose their sponsors because they are no longer practicing. If the sponsors want to re-sign them, they can do it personally,” said PBSI secretary general Anton Subowo.
“We only want professional, dedicated players preparing and competing at national and international events so there should be no misunderstandings.
“Players join the camp to perform their best for their country. The good ones will stay. The players who don’t perform, they will have to leave and give up their place to others.
“This is a more competitive, more professional way of doing things. The players have their fate in their own hand,” Anton said.
In 2013, six sports clothing manufacturers supported 80 players and 10 coaches, marking the end of an era for Japanese firm Yonex, which had been the sole sponsor of the PBSI for a number of years.