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Marking six years with the BWF

2 min read

The 2023 TotalEnergies BWF World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, takes place six years after Infront and the Badminton World Federation (BWF) entered an exclusive media and marketing partnership. It marks the latest stage on the continued growth of badminton.

Back in the time, the agreement between BWF and Infront set the stage for an integrated approach to media and sponsorship rights. The deal promised to catapult badminton's entertainment stature and widen its reach. Since then, the collaboration has paved the way for expanding the sport’s global footprint.

"Our partnership with BWF went beyond the initial objectives," says David Nivelle, Managing Director Infront Pan-Asia. "It was about a mutual passion for the sport and its growth. Our aim was to support and complement the federation in reaching every corner of the globe."

The TOTAL BWF World Championships 2018 in Nanjing, China, showcased the first glimpse of this collaboration. It was a melding of top-notch badminton talent with an integrated effort from Infront in ensuring the event was broadcasted and enjoyed globally.

Driving impactful enhancements

Since then, our partnership has yielded significant value by driving a series of impactful enhancements across the board. Our joint efforts have led to an elevation in standards for production and sport presentation, evident in the exponential expansion of media exposure from 98 territories during 2018-2022 to a staggering 118 territories as of 2023. This broader reach has been underpinned by a comprehensive broadcast strategy that has significantly enriched the global badminton viewing experience.

Additionally, our approach to digital fan engagement has catalysed exceptional growth. This is exemplified by the transformation of BWF.TV subscribers, which surged from 642k in 2018 to an astounding 2.76 million in 2023, creating an immersive experience for fans across the digital spectrum.

Copenhagen 2023: Setting the gold standard

This year, the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships promises to set a new benchmark with the event expected to attract many thousands of fans to The Royal Arena in Copenhagen.

Over 360 players from almost 60 countries compete across five disciplines (men’s and women’s single, men’s and women’s double, mixed double), marking the depth and diversity of talent in the world of badminton.

61 media platforms covering 118 territories will showcase the championships ensuring the competition is accessible to the largest number of fans globally. This includes key markets such as China, Japan, South Korea and India. A total of 127 matches are slated for TV broadcast, with an additional 92 matches set aside for digital streaming.

The comprehensive production setup will ensure those broadcasters are able to deliver the best possible experience for fans watching around the world. Up to 14 cameras per court will be utilised to capture the action during the championships. This arrangement is complemented by augmented reality graphics and exterior drone shots. Infront Pan-Asia Production teams will manage these aspects alongside a team of 96 on site.

On the digital front, the plan is to roll out 11 daily post-produced clips, giving fans a closer look at the day's highlights and key moments.

“Our team works tirelessly, integrating every aspect of the championship,” adds Nivelle. “We want to create moments that resonate, long after the last shuttlecock drops.”

Sponsorship’s role in badminton

Badminton has also drawn a robust list of global partners, many of whom will be using the championships to enhance fan engagement both on-site and digitally. In 2023, the global sponsorship inventory for all Major events, including the prestigious TotalEnergies BWF Sudirman Cup 2023 and TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2023, has been entirely sold out. For the latter, there are seven in total: Title Sponsor TotalEnergies, Premier Sponsor HSBC, Equipment Partner Yonex, Water Partner Ganten, Official Spirit Moutai, Official Betting Partner M88 and Official Partner Youku.

“Our focus remains clear,” comments Nivelle. “It's not just about broadening the badminton audience, but also about deepening the connection. We're not just providing a service; we're co-navigating the future of badminton with BWF."
As we look ahead, the forthcoming cycle, commencing in 2023, is forecasted to surpass even the successes of the previous cycle, solidifying the upward trajectory of our partnership's contribution to badminton's global growth.

The progression from 2017 to now underlines a trajectory of growth, collaboration, and shared goals. The story isn't just about potential champions, but also about the collaborative spirit that helps a sport like badminton shine on the global stage.