By Gary Anderson

December 18 - MetLife has become the new title sponsor of the BWF World Superseries ©BWFGlobal insurance firm MetLife will become the new title sponsor of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Superseries in a deal that runs from 2014 through to 2017, the sport's governing body has announced today.

Now in its third year, the tournament features many of the top players in the game, including in Asia-Pacific countries such as Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore.

From next year it will be known as the MetLife BWF World Superseries, with the first of 13 events beginning next month at the Korea Open in Seoul and running through to the World Superseries Finals, the host of which is yet to be confirmed.

Before then, the series will also visit Malaysia, England, India, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Australia, Denmark, France, China and Hong Kong.

BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer hailed the new sponsorship agreement as "a landmark" for the sport.

"We are pleased to join forces with MetLife to enhance and promote badminton - specifically the Superseries - and make it an even more compelling product for badminton fans worldwide," he said.

"This partnership is a good fit as BWF and MetLife share similar goals in terms of seeking to further spread our respective brands and products globally.

"Insurance also naturally goes hand-in-hand with sports as it helps to safeguard a person's health which is something that is vital to athletes and others in the badminton family.

"Badminton's international appeal has been rising and we are confident that, given the plans we have with MetLife, the next four years will be to our mutual benefit as the Superseries attracts the top players and showcases some of the best badminton ever."

This year's BWF World Superseries Finals took place in Kuala Lumpur, where Denmark's Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl were among the winners ©AFP/Getty ImagesThis year's BWF World Superseries Finals took place in Kuala Lumpur, where Denmark's Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl were among the winners ©AFP/Getty Images

Founded in 1868, and headquartered in New York, MetLife is one of the largest insurance corporations in the world and is ranked at number 40 on the 2013 Fortune 500 list of the highest grossing companies in the United States.

"Diversity is a key value of MetLife's culture and badminton is an inclusive sport that appeals to all genders, age groups and nationalities," said MetLife Asia President Chris Townsend.

"Health and wellness is also an important focus for MetLife and the BWF is a great vehicle for us to demonstrate our commitment in investing and encouraging sports, healthy activities and engagement with customers, families and our employees around the world."

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