In October 2014, Bird raised £133,694 through SyndicateRoom to expand its team and manufacture its high-performance, synthetic shuttlecock, Bird2.
It is estimated that 200m shuttlecocks are sold every year. Through involvement in school and county badminton clubs, Gordon Willis conceived of a new shuttlecock that had the performance characteristics of a feather shuttle, but was still as durable as standard plastic shuttles and therefore significantly more economical.
Bird Design Ltd has developed several patented changes in shuttle design. Completely new moulding and assembly processes give a distinctively new looking, high performance, synthetic shuttle, branded as Bird2. This matches the playing characteristics of feather shuttles with greatly increased durability and performance consistency.
The company’s main product, Bird2, uses plastics instead of feathers. However, unlike other plastic shuttlecocks (which are banned from senior international tournaments for their inferiority), Bird2’s unique design gives it much more of the rigidity and ‘feel’ of a feather shuttle.