Qingdao: Qingdao Badminton Club spent 1.5 million Yuan (roughly $241,493 USD) to hire Lin Dan to just play several exhibition games at the China Badminton Super League?
Of course not, Lin Dan was loaned to Qingdao Hezhan Renzhou Badminton Club from the Bayi Badminton Club on June 3 with big money. However, he wasn’t able to play a single game for the Qingdao team due to the sponsor conflicts.
“Super Dan” was informed that he could not participate in the China Badminton Super League playoff due to the conflict between the sponsor of Lin – YONEX and the league sponsor – VICTOR, last Saturday before the first match of the semifinal.
Several parties have suggested a temporary workaround to resolve the conflicts that revolved around the sponsor’s brand on Lin Dan’s jersey. The proposal was to have Lin covered up the brand on his Jersey but the relevant sponsors did not reach an agreement on the proposed resolution.
Making matters worse, Lin Dan would most likely be excluded from the league’s final where Qingdao will take on Xiamen.
Lin Dan took to Weibo (a.k.a Chinese Twitter) on June 13 to express his confusion and dissatisfaction over the conflicts; he wrote “Everybody can reach a compromised mutual agreement in international tournament. But why it did not work in Chinese League?”
Interestingly, Lin Dan’s nemesis, former world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia also faced a similar situation during the 2013-2014 China Badminton Super League season. Playing for Guangdong New Century City badminton Club, Lee was sidelined since November 2013 due to the same issue, “conflict of interest” between Lee’s sponsor, YONEX, and the league’s sponsor, Li Ning. According to YONEX, Lee Chong Wei must have the sponsor’s logo printed on his jersey when he’s on the court, while Li Ning required all athletes who were participating in the Chinese Badminton Super League to wear Li Ning’s clothing.