By James Crook

AW30th celebratory logos outlineFebruary 28 - The All England Open Championships and Yonex are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their partnership this year, marking one of the longest-running tournament sponsorships in sport.

The All England Championships is considered to be the oldest and most prestigious badminton tournament, formed in 1899 following the success of the first ever competition in Guildford in 1898, and is now one of just five tournaments to be given the status of Badminton World Federation (BWF) Superseries Premier event.

The 2013 Championships take place at Birmingham's National Indoor Arena (NIA) from March 5 to March 10 and are set to attract the world's greatest badminton players, hoping to get their hands on the prestigious title.

"My family have always had a passion for the All England Open Championships, ever since my father first came to the Championships at Wembley Arena as a young man in the 1960s," Yonex President Ben Yoneyama, whose father Minoru founded the company in the late 1940's, said.

140941200The All England Badminton Championships have taken place at the NIA in Birmingham since 1994

"Our company's mission statement declares that we contribute to the development of the world's social culture through sport.

"By our continued support of this great old tournament we have done just that - and will continue to do so.

"Just as we are the number one badminton brand, the Yonex All England Championships is, to me, the number one international tournament.

"We have seen it grow and grow, to be one of the five Premier events on the Badminton World Federation's Super Series and I am delighted that it will retain that special status through the 2014-2017 cycle.

"It is with great pride that our company is now clocking up 30 years of the Yonex All England.

"I can't think of another company who can boast such commitment to sport."

Badminton England chief executive Adrian Christy paid tribute to the continuous support of the Japanese brand.

"We are indebted to Yonex for their unbelievable commitment to our great Championships." he said.

"The company is clearly as proud to be associated with the All England and its traditions as we at Badminton England are.

"The continued Yonex support has enabled us to make the Championships bigger and better year on year and enabled us to maintain our position as one of the five Premier events on the Superseries circuit right through the next cycle to 2017.

"We couldn't have achieved this without them."

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