Indian Badminton has scripted another first for the Olympic discipline sports in the country. The Badminton Association of India has become the first National Sports Federation for an Olympic discipline to ink a single ₹100 crore sponsorship deal.
The BAI has renewed its existing equipment and apparel partner association with Yonex for the next four years. The extension deal is inked for ₹ 100 crore – @ ₹ 25 crore per annum.
Vikram Dhar, Country Head, Yonex, Sunrise Sports, has exclusively confirmed the deal to insidesport.co. “We are very happy to extend the deal with the Badminton Association of India. We have had a very long relationship with the BAI and as partners we have been instrumental in development of the game from grassroots to the highest of level. Badminton still has a long way to go in India with the potential to be Indian sports powerhouse. We are glad go be the partners in this remarkable journey for Indian badminton,” says Dhar.
The BAI stands to gain a 500% premium on its existing ₹ 1 crore per annum deal with Yonex, the global and Indian market leaders in badminton equipment and apparels. “That (500% premium) may be the irony of a pleasant situation. As long as the game goes bigger one needs to go with the flow,” adds Dhar. “When the game grows big, the price tag goes up. We are glad that it is for the development of the game. The price tag reflects true value of the game.”
The BAI had invited bids for “sponsorship of badminton sports” in India. Yonex had little competition in its bid to extend the existingsponsorship contract with the BAI. “We as a badminton brand have always been in the forefront internationally as well as in India. Yonex has been the major contributor to badminton tournaments in India and internationally. The global spirit of Yonex is to be the number one in badminton and we continue the same spirit in India.
“Indian players will be at the top of world badminton. We are definitely looking at Olympic team medal for sure. Indian badminton still has a long way to go. We are going up in the right direction and Olympics is what we should be and we will be aiming at,” says Dhar.
In addition to the BAI, Yonex is also sponsorship a number of Indian shuttlers at an individual level.