Den-Li Chen: A Legacy to be Proud Of

Den-Li Chen: A Legacy to be Proud Of

Badminton World Federation (BWF) paid tribute to Den-Li Chen, Founder of sports equipment company VICTOR, who passed away earlier this month.

From the time he founded VICTOR in the late 1960s as a shuttlecock manufacturing company, to the day he passed away (4 January 2024) at the age of 89, Chen had built one of badminton’s biggest and most respected brands. The company today is a major sponsor of badminton events and players and counts, among others, stalwarts like Tai Tzu Ying, Anders Antonsen, Lee Zii Jia, Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan among its brand ambassadors.

Chen established VICTOR in 1968; the first racket factory was opened eight years later. Among the milestones was VICTOR’s first carbon racket and apparel (1983), footwear line (1992), and partnerships with the Korean national team (2009), Malaysian team (2015) and Badminton Denmark (2017).

Driven by its founder, VICTOR built a reputation for its research and development.

Chen explained his philosophy: “It has been over five decades of dedicating myself to badminton, and I find immense joy and fulfilment in this journey… Since its inception, VICTOR has never stopped pursuing excellence. I am fully aware that in order to achieve anything close to perfection requires that we continuously improve and innovate in our sport. With this in mind, we have poured all of our hearts into the brand to build VICTOR into what it is today.

“VICTOR began its journey from shuttlecock manufacturing, and from my perspective, the shuttlecock, with its 16 feathers, is the foundation of my dreams. Moreover, I firmly believe that every feather carries with it the dreams of shuttlers, and as a leading international badminton equipment brand, it is VICTOR’s mission to turn these dreams into reality.”

Den-Li at a VICTOR “ordering fair”

BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer hailed the contributions of Den-Li Chen to the growth of badminton worldwide.

“On behalf of BWF, I offer my condolences to Den-Li Chen’s family,” said Høyer. “Chen was a remarkable man who build VICTOR into one of badminton’s most recognisable brands. The company has been one of the biggest pillars of support for badminton worldwide. I’m sure his life will be an inspiration to the badminton community.”

A condolence message also came from Antonsen, who won the PETRONAS Malaysia Open 2024 on Sunday: “I was very sad to hear of Chen’s passing. I had the honour of meeting Mr.Chen twice and I know how he dedicated his life to the advancement of badminton, starting with his deep passion for the sport and creating VICTOR. VICTOR is not just his greatest accomplishment but also a priceless gift to the badminton community. His legacy will live on.”