Badminton Association of India in sight of record ₹100 crore deal!

Indian Badminton Team: BAI calls players for selection trial for Sudirman Cup and Thomas & Uber Cup Final teams
Indian Badminton Team: BAI calls players for selection trial for Sudirman Cup and Thomas & Uber Cup Final teams

Badminton Association of India is in sight to land a ₹100 crore sponsorship contract, which till date will become the record for any national sports federation under the aegis of the Indian Olympic Association.

The BAI has invited bids for equipment, accessories and apparel partnership for a four-year period running between 2018 and 2022. Incumbent Yonex is the front-runner to retain the rights on the strength of its extremely aggressive bid to outplay the competition.

The apparel, accessories and equipment sponsorship till date has been the single largest source of commercial revenue for the BAI. Incumbent Yonex has been paying ₹ 5 crores per annum to Indian badminton for the “officials equipment, accessories and apparel partnership” rights. The BAI, has reliably learnt, gets ₹4 crore from the deal, while ₹ 1 crore goes to State associations for its badminton academy.

The annual value for the rights is expected to see up to 500% rise over the previous (2012-2018) BAI-Yonex deal. The BAI, it is learnt has already got offers for more than ₹ 20 crores per annum. However, the association president Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma determined to ensure complete transparency in the rights’ allocation process and secure better values for the federation has insisted on floating a tender.

The BAI on Wednesday, April 11, has issued a notice to invite “bid for proposal from reputed sports company directly or through its Indian partners in form of a joint bid, dealing with badminton equipment, accessories and apparels” to sponsor the Indian national badminton team through the Badminton Association of India.

The BAI over the years has registered a meteoric rise in its commercial values, with its biggest commercial pay cheques for the past six years coming from Yonex. The emergence of Kidambi Srikanth, Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu ever since the BAI and Yonex had executed their present deal in 2012 has added wings to the commercial values of Indian badminton.

Yonex which had been paying a mere ₹30 lakh per annum as the equipment, accessories and apparel before 2012, had last renewed the deal at more than 1,500% premium. Over the period of time India’s emergence as a global badminton power and the sharp rise in the badminton-playing pool in the country, it is likely to see a logical escalation of up to 500% in the partnership rights values, which may go up to ₹ 25 crore per annum or ₹ 100 crore during the four-year rights period.

The bids will be decided on April 26 after 4 pm. has approached the BAI president, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, for an official reaction. “Let us close it first,” was the brief reaction from the BAI supremo.

Yonex, determined to extend its monopoly in Indian badminton equipment, apparel and shoe market, is believed to make an aggressive bid.