Indonesia Badminton Enters New Sponsorship Era As Six Companies Sign Shuttlers
Indonesia’s badminton administrators have signed six new sponsors in deals totaling Rp 33.2B ($3.4M), "allowing companies to sponsor individual athletes and coaches," for the first time, according to Ami Afriatni of the JAKARTA GLOBE. The deals are with apparel producers Victor, Li-Ning, Flypower, Astec, Babolat and Reinforced Speed. The Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) is expected to use the funds to support 80 shuttlers and 10 coaching staff. The deals "mark the end of the commercial domination" of Japan’s Yonex, which had been the sole sponsor of the federation for years. PBSI President Gita Wirjawan, the country’s trade minister who assumed the sporting role last September, initiated the broadening of sponsorship deals and the "decision to allow the sponsorship of individual athletes and coaches." PBSI Head of Finance and Promotion Anton Subowo said, "PBSI sees the athletes and coaches’ welfare as the most important thing to start the country’s badminton revitalization." Sponsors "appeared to welcome the new scheme and were eager to sign both athletes and coaching staff." Deals offered to some of the 80 players exceeded Rp 1B ($103,000) a year in some cases, while the lowest offer was Rp 25M ($2,600). Mixed doubles pair Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir, men's singles player Riyanto Subagja and men's doubles player Rendy Sugiarto were among two dozen players who signed with Victor. Chinese brand Li-Ning, which signed nine athletes, including badminton players Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Simon Santoso, also "welcomed the new sponsorship scheme" (JAKARTA GLOBE, 2/14).