Badminton Netherlands has seen the number of members playing this traditional indoor sport decline in recent years. With AirBadminton, they want to seize the opportunity to reach a younger target audience, make the sport more widely accessible in the market and develop new revenue models.
Launching a new sport isn't a chance that comes along very often – and not just any sport, but a sport with Olympic ambitions. In May 2019, the BWF (Badminton World Federation) introduced AirBadminton. For Badminton Netherlands, it was a unique moment to introduce this new sport in the Netherlands and attract a new target audience. We started working with the team at Badminton Netherlands in January. On May 11, 2020 the time had finally come for the national launch of AirBadminton!
But first a little bit about AirBadminton itself. What is so special about it? It starts with the shuttlecock, also known as an AirShuttle. Five years have gone into developing of this revolutionary AirShuttle, designed specifically for outdoor use. AirBadminton also has a separate field, with what's known as a dead zone. The AirShuttle is not allowed to land in this zone.
The new, more wind-resistant AirShuttle allows you to play AirBadminton anytime, anywhere. And thus, a new sport was born: free, accessible, active and fast! Influencer Milo was selected as an ambassador, and we picked a sunny day in the forecast to record the promo video
Badminton is the fastest racket sport in the world and is played by plenty of people in community centers and at campgrounds. But the number of members for this traditional indoor sport has dropped significantly in recent years. With AirBadminton, Badminton Netherlands wants to seize the opportunity to get a younger target audience excited about the sport and make it more widely accessible in the market. The association not only wants to play an active role in the association network, but also to find and appeal to a new target audience. We were intimately involved, playing an active role in digital marketing at Badminton Netherlands.
"As a federation, we want to be able to offer a cool, new sport with different revenue models. We want to give (Air)Badminton's image a boost so it can be played by a wide range of target audiences, both recreationally and competitively".
The foundation for the digital strategy is a central online environment that brings interaction and information around the sport together. That includes challenges, news, playing tips, rules and support for associations, municipalities and organizations. Content plays a crucial role in the digital strategy. Digital interaction between the target audience and the sport all takes place around this axis. By connecting that with the intelligent martech infrastructure at Badminton Netherlands, they can get to know the target audience better and take a more relevant, personal approach to their needs. A potential AirBadminton player has different needs than a community sports coach who wants to expand their range of sports. This relevant approach is key for the AirBadminton product, so that new revenue models can be developed to further develop the sport.
The introduction of this new sport also served as the introduction of the new AirShuttle. This provides the association with a great opportunity to develop a commercial e-commerce proposition. We worked with Badmintonplanet to develop a special AirBadminton shop that features relevant products for the AirBadminton player, from rackets and shoes to of course the new AirShuttle. Badmintonplanet is the largest badminton specialist in Europe and has proven expertise in the e-commerce domain. So the association benefits from Badmintonplanet's experience and network, but is itself able to develop a new and online revenue model with relevant marketing campaigns.
A new sport, with new positioning, also requires new collaborations – partners that can provide access to new networks and partners that bring power to the brand and the development of AirBadminton. Adidas was the first to join AirBadminton as an apparel partner for the first two years. In the coming years, more brands and companies will be challenged to join the AirBadminton journey. For now, the Olympic Games are the dot on the horizon we're working towards!
Monday, May 11th, the introduction of AirBadminton in the Netherlands. And what a launch it was. More than 5,000 new AirShuttles were sold within just 48 hours after the launch. Our input included writing the grant application, supervising the digital element of the new sport and developing:
✔ Digital strategy, including data, content and commerce
✔ Positioning, identity and corporate identity
✔ Partner proposition
✔ Airbadminton.nl website
✔ Promotional and animated videos
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