Djarum has confirmed to officially pull out of its sponsorship on Indonesia Open Superseries starting next year following a tobacco ban policy issued by the Badminton World Federation.
Though Djarum will no longer support the country’s biggest tournament, Indonesia Open will still have a place in Indonesian badminton lovers’ hearts, BWF official explained.
“I think the event itself shines through. People would come to watch badminton in the stadium. The next title sponsor will achieve the same standards,” BWF Event Director, Darren Parks told reporters.
The hardwork of Djarum and the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI), he said, has helped raise the tournament’s image in the world, especially this year.
“This year is a very special year actually. This is the best Indoesia Open I’ve certainly been through; the vibrant, the atmosphere and the crowd. This event really shines through. You can see the hardwork of PBSI and Djarum to put it. Many little improvements have been made from last year. It’s actually the top two of Superseries, probably equal with the All England which is also a special occasion. That’s what we really can say about this year’s Indonesia Open,” said Parks.
“You can see people come here and take away memories that special to them. You can see the enjoyments on the crowd. That’s what we’re trying to achieve. You come to a badminton event and you go home and tell everyone what a fantastic time you had.
Talking about the policy, Parks said it is part of the strategy to have more people playing and watching badminton. And the best way is to be broadcasted on televisions.
”Most countries in the world, their television broadcasters have rules that cannot show events with tobacco sponsorship. We have to respond to that because that’s the way the world is. The Indonesia Open unfortunately has to change slightly in that regard,” he said.
“But I don’t think it means any kind of major change will affect the credibility the integrity of the great badminton that we have just seen in the future because the standards are maintained.
Djarum representative, Roland Halim said the tobacco company is ready to leave Indonesia Open, the event it has been sponsored since 2004, and has confirmed it.
Djarum is now in talks with PBSI to find the new title sponsor. Online store affiliated with Djarum, blibli.com, is reported to be the next sponsor, but yet to be finalized.
“I think whatever the next title sponsor is, it would not affect the event itself because Indonesia Open is well-known. People will come to watch it as long as the high standards are met,” said Roland.
“People are now thirsty to see victories and PBSI has been showing a good job by improving the athletes’ performance, which helps us maintain the standards.