SECTION 10 – MEDIA

The media are very important for the event and the sport in general. Therefore when media visit the event it is necessary to provide good facilities and good working conditions for them. However, working with media should not be restricted only to the actual event but rather divided into three periods – before, during and after the event. It is also important to realise that the areas of media and promotion are often closely interlinked.

1. Media before the event

Invitations should be sent out and regular press releases supplied to the media to create interest before the actual event starts.

The media should be provided with relevant information regarding the event. Information should be available about the best known and most popular players and, definitely, about the seeded players. This could be in the form of player profiles with photos, results and personal details.

Press releases should be issued in the lead up to the event and could contain information regarding:

-awarding of the event, event contract signing
-sponsorships contracts
-list of entries
-draw and schedule
-local angles on the event
-press conference with local players

Even if the releases do not seem to have immediate effect they will bring awareness of the event and should therefore always contain the dates and the venue for the event.

Nevertheless, the most important is that the media are actively approached. Despite the growing interest for badminton in recent years their attention is still difficult to win. Thus, rather than relying solely on the effect of the press releases or media’s own initiative in covering the event, it is essential that well in advance of the event personal contact with key journalists is made.

Reporters and journalists are often bound by the general demand for viewer or reader ratings, which in case of badminton (compared to for example football) may be difficult to reach. Yet there almost always is a space for an extra article to be published in the newspapers or magazines, for an invitation to be broadcasted on the radio, or for an interview to be included as part of a TV programme, etc. The question is whether this space is going to be given to badminton or some other sport.

It is therefore essential that the media persons are approached repeatedly and the level of service provided to them is similar to the one for VIP’s. To build a strong relationship with a journalist and the media will be rewarded by a significant contribution to the event (and badminton) promotion from their side.

Some ideas for promotion in the lead up to the event could be:

-press articles about the event
-press articles about the sport
-a top player or/and an important official (e.g. tournament director, chairman of the member association, etc.) as a guest on a radio programme
-TV interviews
-a top player or/and an important official as a guest on a talk show
-press or TV coverage from promo activities preceding the event
-event adverts and invitations published in press, on the radio, or on TV

2. Media attending

During the event, daily press releases would be a good source of information both for the journalists as well as the spectators, officials and players.

The number of media persons attending should be estimated based on previous experience.

When coming to the venue the media should be welcomed properly. Ideas could be to:

-offer transport service to the media
-organise a media reception
-personal contact when arriving at the venue
-handing out a media package to journalists on arrival

Equally important is that the media are provided with all necessary facilities they might need.

3. The media facilities

The following rooms should preferably be part of the media centre:

-a large room for all journalists
-a smaller room for work that demands more concentration
-an office for the media officer -an interview room

If seats can be prepared in the stands of the venue where journalists can follow the games this is preferable.

The media centre should have the following equipment:

-fast and reliable internet connection
-power points for laptops
-TV monitors with live coverage from the matches
-TV monitors with live score from each court
-a proper distribution point for results service and press releases
-a photocopier, a printer and paper
-copies of daily papers
-chairs and tables
-soft drinks (water, tea, coffee) and snacks or meals

4. Streaming

An excellent way to promote badminton and bring the competition to even more people is providing live streaming from the event.

The requirements for streaming equipment and facilities are directly dependent on the extent of the service provided. In every case, it is always necessary to count with a high-speed internet connection, space for the camera(s) and possible adjustments of the arena floor plan.

The quality and range of the service can significantly differ, from a non-commented camera taking continuously one court only, through separate cameras for each court to for example a live commented coverage with several cameras focused on the centre court. The last option would already be close to a standard TV transmission. In case of streaming it is therefore necessary to always make sure that no broadcasting rights are violated.

Sometimes the Organisers need to arrange the streaming provider on their own, sometimes this can be done in co-operation with Badminton Europe and its contractual partners.

5. Media after the event 

After the conclusion of the event the media should be used to inform the public about its outcomes through various articles, news reports, etc. Such kind of reporting helps to complete the image of the event.

This is also a good opportunity to thank the sponsors and partners for their support.