Today marks one year since the global launch of the outdoor game, AirBadminton, and new outdoor shuttlecock, the AirShuttle, in Guangzhou, China. It was a milestone moment for the BWF and its Global Development Partner, HSBC.
Fast forward 12 months and BWF is now in the exciting next phase in the AirBadminton project.
Since commencing this project six years ago in collaboration with the Institute for Sports Research (ISR) at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the goal has always been to develop a new outdoor shuttlecock to allow people to have a more positive experience of badminton outdoors.
The main considerations were that it must be played with the same rackets and have increased resistance to wind.
BWF reached out to production companies to confirm the manufacturing process of the AirShuttle and continue the development of the product to further improve the stability, durability and performance.
With the appointment of a manufacturer in Chinese Taipei in December 2019, we began to see the fruits of the labour as we commenced the mass production of the AirShuttle.
At the same time, we started to work with brands and retailers to ensure that the AirShuttle and associated equipment are accessible to everyone at an affordable price.
This has been an important step of the project as each market has its own unique consumer behaviour that we need to accommodate.
BWF has also been working closely together with the Continental Confederations and Member Associations to ensure the AirShuttle gets to as many people as possible.
BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said: “The goal is for the AirShuttle to thrive in all badminton markets and we are delighted by the positive reactions to the first and second phases of the rollout.
“We have been able to test the waters through activations and promotions conducted by our Member Associations and it’s been promising to see a very high demand for the AirShuttle.
“We have passed this feedback onto brands and retailers and we are currently working with them to create sustainable marketing and distribution plans for each region.”
Excitingly, several brands and retailers are already onboard. A list of confirmed distributors can be found on the AirBadminton website.
Lund added: “We’re looking forward to more brands coming on shortly. We have 194 Member Associations in five Continental Confederation and we hope that through our brand and retail relationships we can make the AirShuttle accessible to everyone.”