David Shaw passed away on 4 August 2018. When I say this, many people, even the greatest badminton fans ever, are asking: "Who, for God sake, is David Shaw?"
Well, I will tell you who he is and what he did.
Who was Shaw?
Before David Shaw had something to do with the beautiful sport of badminton, he was a TV executive and a businessman in England. But then, David Shaw became the leader of the IBF (International Badminton Federation). Now, we call that organization BWF (Badminton World Federation).
Shaw was leading IBF, although he didn't have a thing to do with badminton, except his interest for sports in general. Honorary Vice-President of Badminton Europe Torsten Berg, the Continental Representative for Europe in the IBF Council when Shaw led IBF, remembers Shaw as a true gentleman who used his TV and business experience and his relations to extend IBF and reach more people. He made badminton a more popular sport.
In November 1997, Shaw announced that he would retire from IBF. Neil Cameron was his successor. On 4 August 2018, Shaw passed away.
What did Shaw do specifically for IBF?
Shaw turned the IBF staff into a larger and more professional staff to support IBF. That staff enabled him to achieve huge things. This is only a handful of his most important realizations:
- He improved media support by hiring a full-time media officer.
- He introduced a transparent World Ranking system with weekly listings.
- He implemented a database with results of all IBF sanctioned tournaments.
- He ran seeding and draw-making centrally.
- He realized that badminton saw a spurt in tournament prize money.
- He made an agreement with Asian TV company STAR Sports to broadcast some of the bigger events. They also supported major events.
- He increased the public profile of badminton thanks to the broadcasting on TV.
- Badminton got a broader reach and better finances with the help of its introducing at the Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, in 1992.
Today, we consider many of these things as normal.
We will remember David Shaw as one of the greatest Executive Directors of IBF and/or BWF ever.