KUALA LUMPUR: The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has unveiled a new tournament structure, with total prize money exceeding US$1 million in its top four events.
Featuring six levels, the series, which starts next year and runs until 2021, will boast one event in Level One – the signature, season finale with US$1.5 million up for grabs. Level 2 will have three US$1 million events to be held in China, England and Indonesia.
Details of this exciting change in badminton were announced following BWF's Council meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, when tournaments were selected for Levels Two to Five. Five events have been chosen in Level Three (US$700,000 prize money), seven for Level Four (US$350,000) and 11 for Level Five (US$150,000).
Prize money will increase across the board for the last two years of the new cycle. BWF will be separately seeking a host for the prestigious end-of-season finale.
China, Denmark, France, Japan and Malaysia will host Level Three tournaments, while Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand will stage Level Four events. Australia, Taiwan, Germany, India, Korea, Macau, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand and the United States have been awarded Level Five events.
“Our tournaments have grown in stature and appeal significantly in recent years and, with each cycle, we evaluate progress and assess how we can improve our events,” said BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer.
“We have determined that the time is right for badminton to soar even higher and our key goals are to showcase our sport at a high level of presentation and competitiveness, to increase television coverage for the sport, and to increase the star quality and popularity of the top players globally through increased television coverage.
"The more-unified structure will strengthen brand awareness, thus helping to increase exposure and commercial revenues. This will make it possible to increase the quality of the events, provide more revenue to hosts, and increase prize money for players.
“The tour will involve an estimated 37 events, including Level Six, which will be an open category, where BWF member associations can apply for sanction.
"While each level will be part of the new structure, all six will have distinct names, to ensure differentiation among them, highlighting the top events, while maintaining a connection among all levels under the new structure’s umbrella brand, thus reflecting the success of the current BWF World Super Series,” added Høyer.