By James Crook

UntitledMarch 13 - Major events sponsorship deals with Chinese sport apparel company Li Ning and energy drink brand Red Bull China, which run until 2016, have been announced by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

This will be the first time that the BWF has had global sponsorships for its main events, which include the annual BWF World Championships, which are due to be held in Guangzhou this August, and the biennial Thomas and Uber Cup tournament.

"BWF is pleased to partner with Li Ning and Red Bull China in showcasing some of badminton's premier tournaments with these seven major events throughout the four years from 2013-2016." said BWF secretary general and two-time mixed-doubles world champion Thomas Lund.

"These events are some of the most prestigious competitions in our sport and for any individual or country to win them is traditionally and undoubtedly a moment of great pride and honour,

"The interest shown by these corporate entities underlines the fact that badminton has been growing in recent years and is now capable of attracting global attention and, as a result, such partnerships."

121136349Li Ning and Red Bull China will have sponsorship rights for all BWF major events until 2016

Lund also noted that securing "these collective long-term agreements is a significant achievement".

As part of the deal with the Chinese sports brand, Li Ning shuttlecocks and court mats will be used for major events, starting with the Sudirman Cup, which takes place in May this year in Kuala Lumpur and will also be title-sponsored by Li Ning, a company founded by the gymnast of the same name who won six Olympic medals at Los Angeles 1984, including three gold and who lit the flame at the Opening Ceremony of Beijing 2008.

"The major events are an attractive prospect for Li Ning in terms of global brand visibility and recognition, especially as these are the tournaments in which more countries compete and therefore their nations have an interest," said Li Ning's general manager of Li Ning Indoor Sports, Hong Yu Ru.

Red Bull China's Sports marketing director Joan Zhang said: "These major events are BWF's signature collection and Red Bull China's official association with them signifies our regard for these tournaments and the high stature which we recognise they have among fans.

"This partnership fits into our strategy of aligning our company with some of the world's best sporting events."

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