The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has announced the formation of a new commercial vehicle, World Table Tennis (WTT) with a series of new events in 2021 aimed at unprecedented commercial growth for the sport.
Having analysed the global entertainment market and liaised with all stakeholders, WTT will a brand new event structure, which will provide a much more modern entertainment experience for the professional table tennis players, fans, broadcasters, cities and partners.
At the pinnacle of the new event structure are the Grand Smashes. Up to four times per year for 10 days per event, the top 64 men and 64 women on the planet will compete for up to $ 3 million. Providing the perfect mix of the highest-level table tennis, community activation and entertainment, the Grand Smashes are the marquee events that all players want to win, all cities want to host, and all fans simply cannot miss!
Providing the constant, adrenaline-filled action throughout the year will be the WTT Series, giving all athletes adequate events to play in and enabling fans from all corners of the world to watch their idols in the flesh. A$ 8 million in prize money will be up for grabs across the WTT Champions Series and showpiece WTT Cup Finals, while the Star Contender and Contender Series offer opportunities for up and coming athletes to climb the ladder of professional table tennis.
“Year 2020 might be proving a challenging year for all, but better times for our sport are just around the corner when World Table Tennis (WTT) is up and running in 2021!,” ITTFF has stated in a Press release
WTT is the ITTF’s new commercial vehicle to drive table tennis forward in the modern era, with innovations to all facets of the global table tennis product.
Since 2018, professional consultants Deloitte and Withers were hired to assist with remodelling the way that the ITTF does business, giving birth to World Table Tennis, which will run all of ITTF’s commercial and event business from 2021 together with its new partners which will be announced shortly.
“Through World Table Tennis, we are endeavouring to build a platform that really benefits our athletes and fans, enabling better structured events and higher prize money. Lots of time and resources have gone into this, as it’s a huge project that will revolutionise our sport for good. The professionalisation of our core top products is something that had been missing in our sport. This is a great moment for table tennis, and we cannot wait to enter our new era upon overcoming the unforeseen challenges of 2020,” said ITTF CEO Steve Dainton.
“We are committed to following our new strategy. We must be transparent, uphold good governance and make sure that all of our stakeholders can follow our steps forward. We want that players are more satisfied by prize money and events themselves, while we also want to support our members by making more money to reinvest into the development of our key stakeholders,” added Thomas Weikert, ITTF President.
The widespread benefits of the new event structure include greater competition among athletes to attain more attractive prize monies; separate women’s events to brighten the spotlight on the next generation of female stars; iconic venues and locations for an “I was there” experience and world-class TV production and digital storytelling to entertain a growing global fan base.
In his role as Senior Commercial Strategy Consultant, Philippe Le Floc’h will be advising on WTT leadership and commercial strategy to drive table tennis forward in the modern era.