Badminton Life

Water Commercial Raises Profile of American Badminton Duo

American badminton players are generally unknown faces in a country where baseball, basketball and American football rule.

However, thanks to a new advertising campaign, the United States' leading two players are getting plenty of air time.

A commercial for Glaceau Vitamin Water features US players Howard Bach and Bob Malaythong. But what makes the commercial popular is that they are sharing screen time with famous American sportsmen David Ortiz and Brian Urlacher.

Ortiz plays baseball for the Boston Red Sox while Urlacher is a linebacker with the Chicago Bears.

In the commercial, Bach and Malaythong play the part of China's number one badminton team taking on rookies Ortiz and Urlacher.

With the rookies drinking the water, which contains Vitamin C and tourine, the Chinese are unable to cope.

Malaythong said on the NBC website: "The commercial tried to be as authentic as possible and I think they did a good job."

Bach hopes the action that unfolds in the commercial will show Americans just how difficult the sport is.

"It's my way of trying to promote the sport and say, 'Hey it's a serious sport, second most popular'. I'll keep on saying that over and over again until people try it. It's a lot harder than it looks." Bach said.

"I had calls from friends, long lost friends, people I didn't know. I think it was actually good because we had two high profiled athletes there too.

"One of them won the World Series so definitely they actually put badminton on the hot press too as well. So coming to the Olympics it's definitely one of the top sports that people are going to tune into," Bach said.

Malaythong and Bach will be representing the United States in doubles at the Olympics. Although they are not favoured to be among the medals, their new-found fame means that television cameras will show their matches to the American public.

Although the duo portrayed in the commercial Chinese players who lost, the reality is that China will have the strongest team at the Olympics and have the ability to win all five gold medals on offer in the badminton competition.

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