One thing some people have always wondered is, how do professional badminton players make money? Well, it’s a very in-depth topic and varies among player to player, but I was able to pull out some of the main ways badminton players are able to maintain a healthy financial life while playing badminton.
Once you play to a certain level, some companies can sponsor you. With these sponsors, they’ll often give you a full set of equipment, special discounts on their products, as well as money from associated sales made with your name and image.
But getting sponsored by major companies such as Yonex, Li-Ning, and Victor is no easy task. They have prerequisites, many of which are difficult to achieve such as top 20 in the world, playing tournaments consistently and many more.
Many companies also prefer to sponsor a general team which makes getting personal benefits really difficult.
Teams from countries such as Canada and Korea have team sponsors in which the players do not receive the benefits of the dividends from the sales.
Very profitable sponsorships are generally limited to the top of the best players in the world. Only players such as Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan were able to earn a lot of money from sponsors.
Government Funding For Professional Players
But then why are there still so many players if only the top players are profitable?
One of the ways professional badminton players can make money is through government funding.
For Asian countries, badminton is one of, if not, the most popular sport and professional players in countries like China are government-funded.
Specifically, in China, all Chinese National Team members get all of their living expenses paid for so that they can focus on their training.
They even made a statement saying that, “We pay for all of our players’ living expenses so that they can focus on training and winning and so that they don’t have to worry about housing and other financial issues.”
And this funding definitely sees results with China being at the top of the badminton world.
As for many western countries, our funding is meager. All of our training is personally paid for, and our living expenses come right from our very own pockets. In the United Kingdom, mixed doubles players Chris and Abby Adcock even had their own problem of near-bankruptcy.
Another problem with western countries is that training is costly because it’s privately run. Paying for high-quality training costs around $500 per month which is more than how much many high-level volleyball, basketball, and soccer players have to pay.
Plus we also need to pay for our own rackets and shoes. Badminton is genuinely an expensive sport.
Earning Tournament Prize Money
Top professional badminton players don’t just get government and sponsorship funding. Players who win or even get to quarterfinals in tournaments also get prize money. The amount can range from a few hundred dollars to upwards of $50,000.
What’s great is that many lower-tier tournaments still pay out relatively good so if lower-tier national players needed the money, playing in competitions such as Canada Open provides a better opportunity to get the money.
Winning tournaments is another way for professional badminton players to make money.
Here’s what happens to most western badminton players though. In the badminton world, we can’t all be winning tournaments.
Even after training every day for 6 hours, sometimes there are players that want to win much more and have put in so much more effort.
There are only a few people in each tournament that actually win prize money. Not all professional players can earn that money.
These players usually become coaches and open up a private training facility or start businesses like a badminton store or both. They can also become coaches and work for individual facilities.
A certain skill level is needed, but it’s not the skill level required to play even nationally. Just good enough to be playing provincially. Many youth players can also fit into coaching positions.
The options are open! Are you going to become a professional badminton player?
How Do I Make Money As A Badminton Player?
There are lots of ways you can make money from badminton. Two ways are creating blog posts and YouTube videos just like what I am doing here at Get Good At Badminton.
The objectives of Get Good At Badminton are three-fold.
- To help you get better at badminton.
- To get better at badminton myself.
- To make money.
You could do the same thing and kill a few birds with one stone.