Kuala Lumpur: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) has signed an USD450, 000 (RM1.9 million) sponsorship deal with Japanese car manufacturer Daihatsu Motor Corporation on Thursday.
BAM will allocate USD350, 000 (RM1.47 million) of the sponsorship money to upgrade the status of 2018 Malaysia Masters to become a Superseries tournament. The 2018 Malaysia Masters is scheduled to take place at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil in January next year.
The Daihatsu Motor Co. have played a big part in the development of badminton in Japan, and according to their CEO, the Japanese company is also hoping to contribute to towards the sport of badminton in countries where it had vested interest, such as Malaysia and Indonesia. Daihatsu will become the main sponsor for the 2018 Daihatsu Indonesia Masters.
“After Malaysia Masters have been upgraded to Superseries tournament, the event will feature top 10 ranked players across all disciplines (Men’s and Women’s Singles, Men’s and Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles) giving spectators the opportunity to see some of the best badminton ever played in Malaysia as they will compete for a prize pool of USD 350,000 (RM1.9 million),” said Zakaria.
The executive officer of Daihatsu Motor Co, Osamu Naruse also said that the company has decided to support the sport of badminton in Malaysia and Indonesia because the company would like to give back to the local communities through sports.
When Zakaria was asked about former Malaysian national coach Yap Kim Hock has expressed his interest to rejoin BAM if the national body needed his coaching service, Zakaria said he would let the current men’s doubles coach Cheah Soon Kit to make the final call.
“I already asked Soon Kit to start looking for Jeremy Gan’s successor, and I have told him that he must appoint a local coach for that position,” added Zakaria.
BAM’s men’s doubles coach Jeremy Gan tendered his resignation last Saturday, and will start his new coaching career oversea as the mixed doubles coach for the Japan national team early 2018.