In recent years, Badminton Nederland observed the number of people practising the indoor sport go down. With AirBadminton, they want to seize their opportunity to reach a younger target audience. This to make the sport more accessible and to develop new revenue models.
You don't often get that chance to launch a new sport. And not just any sport, but one with Olympic ambitions. In May 2019, the BWF (Badminton World Federation) introduced AirBadminton. It became a unique moment for Badminton Nederland to introduce this new sport in the Netherlands and with it attract a new audience. In January, we joined hands with the Badminton Nederland team and got to work right away. On the 11th of May 2020, it finally happened: the nationwide launch of AirBadminton!
Let’s briefly talk about AirBadminton as a sport. What is so special about it? It starts with the shuttle, the so-called AirShuttle. Five years have been spent developing the revolutionary AirShuttle, designed for outdoor use. AirBadminton also uses a separate field, with a so-called 'dead zone'.
The AirShuttle is not allowed to land in it. The new, more wind-resistant AirShuttle ensures that you can play AirBadminton at any time and place. That also leads to the image of the new sport: free, accessible, active and fast! Milo became the ambassador of the sport and on a sunny day, the promo video was shot.
Badminton is the fastest racket sport in the world and is played by many, be it on a court inside or on camping. Yet, the number of members that practise this traditional indoor sport has fallen considerably in recent years. With AirBadminton, Badminton Nederland wants to seize an opportunity to enthuse a younger audience as well as make the sport more accessible in the market. The Association not only wants to play an active role for the current badminton practitioners. It also wants to find a new target audience to appeal to. Due to our active role in digital marketing at Badminton Nederland, we were directly involved in the process.
"As a federation, we want to succeed in offering a cool new sport containing different revenue models. We want (Air) Badminton to get a better reputation, and hope it will be played by many target groups, both recreationally and competitive"
The digital strategy begins with a central online environment where interaction and information about sport come together. Challenges, news, tips, game forms, game rules and support for associations, organisations and municipalities. Content plays a crucial role in the digital strategy because this is how digital interaction takes place between the target group and the sport. By linking this to their intelligent Martech infrastructure, Badminton Nederland can get to know their target group better and then approach them in a more relevant and personal manner. For example, a potential AirBadminton player has different needs than a neighbourhood sports coach who wants to expand his sports activities. This relevant approach is of great importance for the AirBadminton as a product, since it creates opportunities for new revenue models to be developed for the further development of the sport.
The introduction of the new sport also became the introduction of the new AirShuttle. This provided the Association with a great opportunity to develop a commercial e-commerce proposition. A specialised AirBadminton shop was developed in collaboration with Badmintonplanet. It sells relevant products for the AirBadminton player, from rackets and shoes to—of course—the new AirShuttle. Badmintonplanet is the largest badminton expert in Europe and has therefore proven its expertise in the e-commerce domain. In this way, the Association benefits from the network and experience of Badmintonplanet, while being able to develop a new and online revenue model with relevant marketing campaigns.
A new sport, with new positioning, requires new collaborations. Partners that give access to new networks or give power to both the brand and the development of AirBadminton. Adidas has been the first and is committed to being AirBadminton's clothing partner for two years. In the coming years, more brands and companies will be challenged to join the AirBadminton journey. With the Olympic games as a spot on the horizon!
Monday 11 May 2020 was the day, the introduction of AirBadminton in the Nederland. And what an introduction it was. More than 5,000 new AirShuttles were sold within the first 48 hours of launch. Our contribution consisted of writing the grant application, supervising the digital matters of the new sport and developing the following:
✔ Digitale strategie, inclusief data, content en commercie
✔ Positionering, identiteit en huisstijl
✔ Website airbadminton.nl
✔ Promo- en animatievideo
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