Apacs badminton rackets are a fairly new company in the western world, although they have been going strong in the far east for a number of years now. The main factory is in Malaysia, and this is where Apacs is most popular. The big plus point with these rackets are the competitive prices and value for money.
I have an arrangement with Apacs UK, and they send me any new rackets and let me test them and write reviews for them. This helps to give Apacs a bit more exposure and also helps me to have something to write about on that blog!
I think I have tested around 6 or 7 racquets so far and have been impressed with them. Not only are they pretty cheap, but they offer good quality and playability. For the price they are very difficult to find fault with, and the range is growing now in the UK.
A big bonus for Apacs in the far east is that they have managed to sponsor a few top players from Malaysia, and this will no doubt help to grow the brand. Apacs sports in the UK are also growing steadily now and attracting more customers. This will continue to happen as the product ranges grow and begin to offer more rackets aimed at intermediate and beginner players.
The key to selling badminton equipment is variety, becuase you need to cater for all different standards of player, and this needs to be reflected in the rackets you sell. Apacs are realising this, and i have a feeling that in a few years time they will have just about every racket for every type of player.
These so called smaller brands will grow a whole lot in the future because they offer something different to the over priced Yonex racquets. The difference between these companies is only in reputation at the moment, but if you offer a great playing experience at a fraction of the price then your reputation will grow and grow and lead to more success. Racket technology is now offering a more level playing field, and the same technology is in most badminton ranges now, meaning the only difference between choosing one brand over the next comes down to who can market their product the best. At the moment there is a massive shift in power going on between the badminton manufacturers, and Yonex is beginning to get more sustained competition from the likes of Victor and the new kid on the block, Li Ning rackets, who have just pulled off the biggest shock in world badminton by sponsoring the Chinese national team.
There has already been much interest in the Li Ning brand, and i have seen this myself on my other blog. There are hundreds of searches every day for Li Ning badminton rackets since the Surdiman cup final a few days ago. Players from all the world are wondering who the they are, and more importantly for Li Ning, where can i buy one from? In the west i hav not seen a single retailer selling any Li Ning equipment, but i bet they are licking their lips for when they do get the chance to sell their stuff. Whoever gets in first will make a huge killing in the west because of the interest already. Only time will tell who that will be.
Apacs Test Rackets
I have managed to get my hands on some Apacs badminton rackets to test. Readers of my other blog will have seen some Apacs reviews in the past. I have a good relationship with the guys at Apacs UK, and they regularly send me some of their latest offerings. This past week has been no exception, and i now have 4 racquets on test. They are the Fusion Hotshots 7777 and 7778, the Tantrum Power 160, and the Nano 7007 Power.
All have been strung at 28lbs tension with Apacs string. In the next few weeks i will be posting my reviews of these rackets. I think i have tested about 7 or 8 Apacs rackets in the past including the Edgesaber 7 and 10. The latest batch are not on sale yet, so i have a bit of an inside scoop of things to come.
The new ranges which are on sale in the UK at the moment are a move away from the Yonex clones that people associate with Apacs. They are moving up in the badminton scene with a strong product range this coming season. There are going to be many more rackets to choose from, and they will cater for all types of players. The one’s i have received are a case in point, they are all different, with different balance points, weight and flexibility.
Apacs are already strong in the far east, particularly in Malaysia where they are sponsoring some of the national players. It is only a matter of time before they get some good players from the UK and Europe to help strengthen their brand name awareness. These are changing times, especially with Yonex losing some of their sponsorship deals. The market is becoming a little bit more of a level playing field again, and so called smaller companies are making the most out of it.
The key to all of this is the product. It has to do it’s job. It has to offer quality and be affordable. Customer service is also very important. Apacs sell their own rackets from their own website, so you get to deal directly with them. When they start to attract more customers then no doubt some online retailers will want to sell their stuff. This is for the future so we will see what happens.
On a completely different note, the Li Ning badminton racket revolution is well under way. I am seeing hundreds of daily searches for these rackets on google. People want to get their hands on them and nobody really knows what the hell they are like. It is all down to their sponsorship of the Chinese national team. One thing is for sure, retailers in the western world are just waiting to be able to sell them. Whoever gets in first will make a whole load of money no doubt. I imagine they will not be cheap either, they will have to be expensive to get some of the money back that they invested in their sponsorship deal.