Do you know which shoe the world’s best badminton player endorses?
Lee Chong Wei is one the top badminton players in the world, and he’s the highest money earner thanks to tournament wins and endorsements. The 5’7″ Malaysian player endorses an anti-virus program, a coffee brand, and many other companies, pulling in $292,000 in 2013 (which is a high for the sport).
That leads to a natural question: which shoe does he endorse? Adidas? Nike? Reebok?
The answer is Yonex
Badminton shoes have different requirements than other court shoes. Thanks to the game’s quick turns, the shoes need great ankle support and extremely high grip. They also have to be safe for indoor courts. Though the big brands all make badminton shoes, most pros go with Yonex or, if they’re looking for a larger brand, Asics.
Lee Chong Wei may want the money of a bigger shoe, but the big shoe manufacturers either aren’t serious about the market or they haven’t made a shoe that’s good enough. For now, he wears the functionally-named Yonex SHB01LTD.
But don’t worry about Lee Chong Wei. Some big brands know badminton is a great way to capture Malaysians’ hearts. That includes Samsung, for which he donned Yonex in a 2012 ad.