Badminton has secured a global sponsorship deal with HSBC which gives the bank naming rights to the Badminton World Federation World Tour.
The global banking group will have a corporate presence across BWF’s entire suite of World Tour events for the next four years and will also become a Premier Sponsor for the BWF’s Major Events including the World Championships.
Perhaps more importantly, particularly in an Irish context, HSBC has also been named as the BWF’s Global Development Partner, working with the world-governing body to grow the sport globally.
The World Tour Finals will be held in Guangzhou in China for the next four years. The total prize money for that event this year is $1 million. The lowest prize money level to get onto the World Tour 100 schedule is $75,000, which is the money available for the event to be held in Scotland.
The Irish Open in 2017 had prize money of a lot less at €8,000 so it may be some time before the direct benefits filter through to here, though the development of Ireland as a recognised training centre for players from outside of Europe does give hope that this may be an opportunity to engage with HSBC locally as part of the deal.
Ireland was a founding member of the World Badminton Federation in 1934 and has 16,000 registered players participating across 400 clubs around Ireland.
Chloe and Sam Magee and Scott Evans have represented Ireland at the highest level in the sport and the Irish Open has been held successfully at the Sport Ireland national Indoor Arena over the past two years.
All three, as well as top-ranked Nhat Nguyen, will be part of the Men’s and Women’s teams representing Ireland next month at the European Championships taking place in Kazan, Russia.
Nguyen claimed Ireland’ first European Championship in the sport when winning the U17 European Title in 2015 and made the top 8 in last year’s World Junior Championships in Indonesia.
Welcoming HSBC to the BWF’s global family, BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer said: “This is a significant milestone in our federation’s history. We are stepping boldly into the future with a partnership that will define badminton for the ages.”
“HSBC has distinguished itself across the panorama of sport as a brand of excellence – a brand with which BWF is proud to partner.”
Whether this rolls through into some form of local support remains to be seen but there is a precedent for Irish sporting organisations benefiting from Global deals in sport, most notably through Paralympics Ireland and its relationships with Allianz and Toyota.
Image Credit: Badminton World Federation