BWF and Wanda Announce Landmark Partnership

BWF and Wanda Announce Landmark Partnership

BWF and Wanda boost badminton to the next level by centralising BWF’s worldwide commercial rights with an exclusive contract for all media distribution and sponsorship rights

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Wanda, through its subsidiary Infront Sports & Media, have today announced a new landmark agreement for the centralised media and sponsorship rights of the BWF Major Events (Sudirman Cup, Thomas & Uber Cup Finals and the World Championships) and for a revamped BWF Series – encompassing the current BWF World Superseries and Grand Prix Gold events – to be relaunched for the 2018 season.

Details of the eight-year partnership were released at a signing ceremony held at Wanda Plaza in Beijing and include all commercial rights on an exclusive basis (media, marketing, digital,  and betting) from 2018-2025.

BWF President Poul-Erik HøyerThe agreement marks the first time BWF has worked with one global partner for both media and sponsorship rights distribution. Furthermore, Infront is to support the federation with its television production operations – providing host broadcast, post-production and broadcaster servicing across all BWF Major Events. Additionally, Infront will conduct a full review of BWF’s digital landscape to ensure all channels are being maximised to reach badminton’s 500 million fans globally.

Badminton’s popularity continues to grow beyond the traditional heartlands of China, South-East Asia and northern Europe as evidenced by the medal spread at the recent Rio 2016 Olympic Games; nine of the 15 medals going to different countries. Bolstered by the sport’s massive fan base and over 125 million players worldwide, Infront and BWF will seize upon badminton’s widespread appeal to drive into new markets while attracting leading global marketing partners.

Hailing the deal as “a partnership that will give badminton new momentum”, BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer noted it dovetails perfectly with the world-governing body’s goals in its Strategic Plan 2016-2020.

‘One of our key objectives is to boost badminton’s entertainment profile. We want to engage and excite our fans more and this union with Infront is a clear step in that direction. Their reputation precedes them and we look forward to Infront sprinkling their sports-marketing stardust across the badminton landscape – and helping our sport to shine even brighter,” said Høyer.

Welcoming Wanda and Infront to the BWF family, he added that BWF anticipates that a fruitful partnership with Infront will prove beneficial to the organisation’s ultimate vision of ‘Giving Every Child a Chance to Play for Life’ as badminton reaches new heights and frontiers.

Chairman of the Wanda Group, Wang Jianlin

Wang Jianlin, Chairman of the Wanda Group, said: “This landmark agreement with the BWF is a further step towards developing Wanda’s influence in the international sports landscape. Wanda will endeavour to bring as many benefits to the sport of badminton as possible. In addition, we will ensure Infront’s invaluable expertise across both media and marketing sales as well as broadcast and digital will be fully utilised to help propel the sport worldwide to further success.”

Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Wanda Sports Holding, said: “We thank the BWF for putting its trust in Infront, adding another Olympic sport to our repertoire is a fantastic accolade. We are confident of our position and capacity to take the BWF events to the next level worldwide, and together with our shareholder Wanda Group utilise our global network to grow the sport even further.

“Wanda will leverage the Infront network to increase commercial returns across the board. This agreement encompasses the full breadth of our expertise and therefore allows the BWF to draw on many benefits. It will enable the BWF to optimise along the entire value chain from media and marketing sales, to TV production, digital content and client and event servicing. All services from one central source allow for many advantages and a strong foundation for growth and success.”

Officials of Wanda Group and the Badminton World Federation at today's signing ceremony

Meanwhile, BWF Marketing Chair Nigel Skelt highlighted the partnership’s tangible benefits to BWF event hosts.

“The importance of this partnership both financially and in terms of exposure for the sport is crucial for BWF and the whole badminton community. The partnership will not only support the BWF as the governing body, but will also directly benefit member associations hosting our different tournaments,” he said.

“We are certain Infront will help all BWF stakeholders to keep improving the standard of our overall delivery of events, while also ensuring the stable and ongoing financial growth that has underpinned badminton’s very encouraging development in recent years.”


FEATURED IMAGE: BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer (left) and Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Wanda Sports Holding, sign the agreement between the Badminton World Federation and Wanda.


About Wanda Group

Dalian Wanda Group was founded in 1988 and is engaged in three key business activities – commercial properties, culture, and finance. In 2015, its assets amounted to $97.6 billion with revenue of $44.6 billion. Wanda is the world’s largest real estate enterprise and the biggest five-star hotel owner in the world and the world’s largest cinema operator. It is also the world’s biggest sports company. Elsewhere, Wanda Cultural Industry Group is the largest cultural enterprise in China, the largest tourism company and the largest children’s entertainment company in China. By 2020, Wanda Group aims to become a world-class multinational corporation with assets of $200 billion, market capitalization of $200 billion, revenue of $100 billion and net profits of $10 billion.

Wanda Sports Holding, a 100% subsidiary of Wanda Group, is the world’s leading sports business entity, founded to capture the opportunities in the global sports industry and to contribute to the prosperous international sports landscape – in three key areas: 1) Spectator Sports (media & marketing business), 2) Participation Sports (active lifestyle business), 3) Services (digital, production and service business). Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Wanda Sports Holding incorporates the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media, the iconic endurance brand IRONMAN, and Wanda Sports China. The headquarters are in Guangzhou, China.

About Infront Sports & Media

Infront Sports & Media is the most respected sports marketing company in the world, managing a comprehensive portfolio of top properties. Led by President & CEO Philippe Blatter, Infront covers all aspects of successful sporting events – including distribution of media rights, sponsorship, media production and event operation – and has won a reputation for its high standards of delivery. As the number one player in winter sport and with a leading role in football, summer and endurance sports, Infront enjoys long-lasting partnerships with 170 rights-holders and hundreds of sponsors and media companies. Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, Infront has a team of more than 900 experienced staff working from over 35 offices across more than 15 countries, delivering 4,100 event days of top class sport around the world every year. In November 2015, Infront was integrated into Wanda Sports Holding, part of the Chinese conglomerate the Dalian Wanda Group.

About BWF

BWF is the international governing body of the sport of badminton, recognised by the International Olympic Committee. It is the successor organisation to the International Badminton Federation (IBF) which was founded on 5 July, 1934. The IBF was rechristened the Badminton World Federation in 2006.

The purpose and objectives of BWF include regulating, promoting, developing and popularising the sport of badminton throughout the world and organising, conducting and presenting international events at the highest level.

The BWF’s vision is to make badminton a leading global sport accessible to all – giving every child a chance to play for life. Its mission is to lead and inspire all stakeholders; to deliver entertainment through exciting events to drive fan experience, and to create innovative, impactful and sustainable development initiatives.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with 185 member associations worldwide.

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