Badminton Australia is set to launch a major awareness campaign this month as sales of cheap backyard sets continue to surge in the leadup to Christmas.
The annual Christmas rush has become a major source of frustration for the sport’s governing body, as it has never been able to turn those sales into a genuine love of the game amongst the Australian public.
‘There was a time when we used to get excited by these big sales numbers, but it’s the same old story every year,’ a Badminton Australia rep said today.
‘People buy these cheap sets from K-Mart or The Reject Shop as Christmas gifts but after a few muck-around games in the backyard or at the beach they’re packed away and forgotten about until someone buys another set next year,’ she said.
Badminton Australia’s research suggests that most Aussies aren’t actually aware that it’s a serious sport played by millions worldwide.
‘There’s a sense amongst the public that it’s just some sort of tennis rip-off you can play in the backyard, and pretty much nobody is even aware that there are rules that extend beyond ‘don’t hit it into the net,’ the BA rep said.
The upcoming public relations blitz is expected to focus on the game’s proud history, it’s status as an Olympic sport, and the fact that you can actually buy proper badminton equipment that makes it feel more like a sport and less like you’re just hitting an oddly-shaped blob of plastic around.
Unfortunately, the public response to the campaign has been underwhelming so far.
‘If it’s such a serious sport, then why the hell do they call that thing a shuttlecock?’ asked one respondent.