|Kang Young-Joong- President, Badminton World Federation|
|Profile of the week|
Friday, 27 July 2012 12:17
Dr. Kang Young-Joong is the President of the Badminton World Federation.
Tasked with spreading the sport around the globe and creating greater independent financial stability, arthritis Dr. Kang has proved influential in aiding the BWF’s tremendous growth. Capitalising on his strong sense of business acumen and corporate governance, click the federation has enjoyed an increase in income, therapy generated from commercial and media rights.
His vast experience in sports administration has seen him occupy the position of President in both Korea Badminton Association and Asian Badminton Confederation.
A graduate of Konkut University in 1972, Dr. Kang has since earned a Honary Ph. D in Business Management and Physical Education.
What are your ambitions for Badminton?
My ambition is to see the sport grow and played widely in all parts of the world. I also would like to see the BWF on a stronger financial footing. We have relied heavily on income from the Olympic Games, but the ideal goal is to ensure that we rely less on the International Olympic Committee revenues and rely, in a more balanced way, on the marketability and profitability of our own products, namely the BWF Major events and other innovative tournaments. I think we have already achieved a lot in this area.
What improvements have been made to the business side of Badminton in that time since your election in 2005?
I must say that, as a team, the BWF has made major improvements on the business side. For instance, the income generated from the commercial and media rights from our events have surpassed the income from the Olympic Games every four years. This is largely due to the collective effort of the Council and our Member Associations, who have been supportive of the business models that we have introduced for the Superseries and BWF Major Events.
When re-elected in 2009, you spoke about attracting more children to the sport. Have you had much success?
It has been a long and hard journey, but I firmly believe we have taken the first few steps towards this direction with the introduction of our school development programme, ‘Shuttle Time’, and Level 1 Coach Education resources.
‘Shuttle Time’ has developed resources, which are freely available for teachers to download and assist in their delivery of a lesson or teaching of a skill. The schools programme is a priority area for us and the first point of contact with the youth. This has been included as one of the big projects in the BWF’s five-year strategic plan for 2012-2016. Through this programme, we hope to train more tutors and to include it in the schools and universities’ curriculum. We expect some 700,000 students to be exposed to Badminton within the first two years of our pilot launch of the project this year.
As for the Level 1 Coach Education programme, our aim is to provide a best practice coach education framework for our Member Associations, to use as a guide to support the planning and delivery of coaching courses. Only through good qualified coaches will it be possible to keep the youth interested in our sport, as there is fierce competition to attract their attention.
How do you keep children playing at grass roots level interested in the sport, to try and push them through to the professional level?
We work closely and in consultation with the Continental Confederations, who are given grants to implement development programme initiatives in their respective region, which includes equipment support and setting up training opportunities for lesser developed nations in some of our big badminton countries. We also offer centralized development resources, such as school and coach education material, to ensure that Badminton is introduced at a high quality level and is continuously presented to our millions of grass root players. With many playing the sport and high quality coaching, there will be players pushed through to the professional level.
Having said that, it is also important to promote our top players as ”stars” or ”icons” so that the younger players have someone they can look up to or emulate. We are working with the Players and Member Associations to raise awareness of the importance of engaging with the media, in order to help promote themselves and in the long run, help promote the sport as well.
What are the biggest challenges facing badminton? And, how do you overcome them?
The biggest challenges facing our sport are the need to increase television exposure and to help other regions popularise and develop the sport. Badminton is very widely played in both Asia and Europe, but we have now achieved to create an even wider spread. The sport is now also more consistently and evenly played in all continents at the grass root level.
Also, we are working hard on improving the top players of the sport across all continents, as Badminton has long been seen as an Asian and European dominated sport. But, today we have commitment from the strong Badminton nations to help the lesser developed nations. As an example, China has offered to help train players and donate equipment. We are delighted with such initiatives.
Television exposure has increased. The 12 Superseries events and two BWF Major Events in 2011 were broadcasted to 164 countries, while the number of broadcast hours increased from 1500 hours to 6769 hours. Through opening our own Broadband Channel we can also now offer almost the whole world live Badminton on a continuous basis. We know that there is still a lot of improvements and work needed to be done to boost these figures even higher, but my colleagues and I are relishing the challenge and are in constant discussion on the ways and means to achieve this.
Earlier this year the BWF went through a rebranding exercise that introduced a new logo. Why was this done and what effect do you hope it will have on incoming revenue?
Powerful, yet simple. Growing, yet efficient. These are the key messages that we want to convey to the world. Since the last logo launch in 2007, we have gone through some positive changes and we believed it was time to launch a new brand identity that personifies the stability, ambition and synergy. The new logo, we strongly believe, presents a strong visual brand identity that can easily be incorporated with an event identity.
Furthermore, an analysis of our previous logo showed some functional weaknesses and presented a lack of connection with other visual presentations, hence the decision to rebrand our logo. We believe this brand identity to be a long lasting decision.