Badminton Association of India signs three-year deal with Yonex
The sport of badminton in India got a huge boost after the Badminton Association of India (BAI) signed a Rs. 75 crore-worth sponsorship deal with the Japanese sports equipment manufacturing giant, Yonex for three years.
Thanks to this ‘mega commercial partnership’, as claimed by the BAI, Yonex will provide equipment to all the BAI tournaments, camps and academies. In return, they will get title sponsorship rights to all tournaments that are held under the auspices of the national badminton body.
The deal came about after the federation had invited tenders from top equipment manufacturers last month. In an addendum later on, the BAI clearly stated that they were looking for bidders, whose average annual turnover globally in the last three financial years has been a minimum of Rs. 300 crore. Additionally, the BAI also wanted the applicant to have a sound base in India as they made Rs. 200 crore average turnover annually mandatory in the country.
However, BAI Secretary General Ajay Singhania later clarified that they required the applicant to fulfil either of the two criteria.
With Yonex being very popular within India, it looked to be the only one able to bid for the rights. They sent their application on the last day of submission -- April 26. BAI then even extended the deadline to April 30 in an attempt to lure other bidders, but did not meet with any success.
It has been learnt that even though the Chinese manufacturing company, Victor downloaded the bid document, they did not submit it.
The BAI President Dr. Himanta Biswas Sarma was happy that this historic event will give the federation financial stability as they make untiring efforts to spread the sport to every corner of the country.
“We are really very happy with this new deal going through and will give us financial stability going forward and will help us to develop and promote the sport further in the country,” said Sarma.
Singhania added that the landmark deal further validates that the BAI is one of the best Olympic sports federations in India.
“This is a huge development for badminton in the country and further cements our reputation as one of the best Olympic sports federations in India. This is unprecedented and will take badminton to the next level in the country,” he said.