Not all sport superstars use professional agents. Take, for example, badminton and volleyball.
Ratchanok Intanon, 22, Thailand’s badminton superstar, says she has no financial management or any incentives. She only knows that she must practise and prepare physically for competitions. Banthongyord Badminton School is responsible for her finances and benefits.
Kamala Thongkorn, the owner of Banthongyord Badminton School, says that as Ratchanok’s guardian, the school deals with all aspects of her finances. This will likely be formalised as an agent business for all badminton players from the school as her daughter takes the management reins soon.
In the past decade volleyball, which is managed by the Thailand Volleyball Association (TVA), has become enormously popular. Thailand’s women’s national team
has bagged several medals at world championships.
Meanwhile, professional volleyball players like Pleumjit Thinkaow, Onuma Sittirak, Wilawan Apinyapong and Nootsara Tomkam have gained
valuable experience by joining international leagues in the past few years.
Apart from the local leagues, the TVA organises international competitions in Thailand every year and has secured a number of official sponsors and TV partners for all its championships.
Panuwat Khantamoleekul, managing director of Supreme Distribution, the owner of Supreme Chonburi Volleyball Club, the champion of Women’s Volleyball Thailand League 2017 and Asian Women’s Club Volleyball 2017, says there is no Thai volleyball player who uses a sport agent because all sponsorships are dealt via the TVA.
He reasoned that there is no need for such agents because income from sponsorships are much less than other sports such as golf and football, so
all of benefits are managed by the association.
Initially, Supreme Distribution
provided annual sponsorship of Bt1 million for national youth volleyball competitions featuring players around 14 years of age. Later, the company supported Chonburi Volleyball Club
in developing professional players.
It is the first club to be owned by a private company.