Lin Dan is not only a formidable force in the badminton world, but he is also a major attraction outside of it. He is a fan favourite all over the world, and he has a lot he can venture into. So the question now after his retirement is ‘What Next?’
He has won almost everything in the badminton world, the Olympics, World Championships, Sudirman Cup, Thomas Cup, All England, and the Asian Games. He is deserving of the status given to him as the greatest of all time.
Outside the badminton world, he has collaborated with well-known brands like Oakley, Montblanc, Gillette and D&G. He has invested in his own businesses too.
After announcing his resignation from the Chinese national team, everyone started asking – what could be the next step for Lin Dan?
1. Brand Ambassador
With the image he has built in his career, Lin Dan has a lot of recognition and appreciation from various media.
As per Sports Sina, after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Lin Dan became the most endorsed male athlete in China. His income in 2009 was close to 15 million Yuan (2.1 million USD). After the 2012 London Olympics, Lin Dan became the most valuable male athlete in China with sponsorships worth up to 10 million Yuan (1.4 million USD) per year.
Big brands such as Citroen, Red Bull, Green Arrow, Gillette, Dongfeng Nissan, Wrigley’s chewing gum, Pepsi, 361˚, L’Oreal, Gatorade, Montblanc, and Oakley have worked with Lin Dan.
In 2015, he signed a contract with Yonex for a period of 10 years totaling 100 million Yuan (14.2 million USD). The contract is till 2025; we might see him promote Yonex with other Legends such as Lee Chong Wei, Taufik Hidayat, Peter Gade and Lee Yong Dae. At present, Yonex has an “LD” line of clothes, shoes, rackets and other accessories.
Lin Dan opened a coffee shop in 2014 named Hollys Coffee in collaboration with a Korean coffee brand. In 2015, he started a men’s underwear line “Intimate by LIN DAN.” But these two businesses do seem to have gone under at present.
In addition to these two ventures, Lin Dan has investments in several companies. He holds a 100% stake in Shanghai Chuangling Sports Planning Studio, 20% in Wanguocheng (Guangzhou) Trading Co., Ltd, and 50% and 49% in Shenzhen Xinchuangling Investment Co. Ltd. and Shenzhen Dange Cultural Investment Co., Ltd with his wife Xie Xingfang.
In 2019, his wife established Doreen Baby in partnership with Shenzhen Xinchuangling Investment Co., Ltd. Lin Dan is the chief creative officer of the brand and has appeared in many promotional events.
Lin Dan has also built a badminton-training center in Guangzhou for youngsters to “promote badminton.” Last month, his wife Xie Xingfang inaugurated the Lin Dan Badminton Youth Education and Training Base in collaboration with Guangzhou Huamei School.
Due to his popularity, Lin Dan is often invited to television shows such as The Brain, Tucao Conference among others. In 2017, he appeared on Mask Singer and blew everyone away with his voice. It is no secret that he is a wonderful singer.
Last year, he expressed his interest in working in the fashion world, especially apparel and design. Lin Dan has featured on the cover of many fashion magazines in the past.
It would certainly seem like Lin Dan has a lot of options lined up for him in the next phase of his life.