The International Table Tennis Federation is in a grand revamp mode. The world governing body for table tennis has made five major announcements over the past one weak. These range from hiring global agencies to the appointment of top directors.
The last week was more than just glittery for the ITTF. The signing of 5 major contracts in a span of 7 days is an indicator to ITTF’s grand plans, aimed at taking the game to the next level with the help of the big investments and the growing popularity.
SIGNING WITH SPORTSMASTER – The tie up of the equipment company and the ITTF will reap great results. They will start by setting up a professional tournament in the year 2021 along with an integrated commercial programme. This is aimed at unifying the ITTF World Tour, Table Tennis X, World Veteran’s Tour and T2APAC league. It will also help Table Tennis become one of the first sports to have its World Championships and professional platforms under one roof, connected to its World Ranking and the Olympic Qualification System.
ITTF currently has the commercial rights agreement for ITTF World Tour, TTX and The World Veterans Tour with Sportsmaster.
INTERNATIONAL TESTING AGENCY – On June 28, ITTF has cemented its place as a modern international sports federation by partnering with the Internation Testing Agency. The ITTF will fully delegate its anti-doping work to the ITA. This move brought a smile to the face of the ITA, as the Chair of ITA’s board Dr. Valerie Fourneyron said “We are very grateful to ITTF, for showing the trust in ITA to promote clean sport in Table Tennis“.
This move falls in line with the ITTF’s plans to professionalise the sport. An approach on which they have been working on since the month of May 2018. ITTF has a bold vision for the future of the sport that we know as “Table Tennis. For All. For Life” and this partnership will certainly help the youngsters get on the right track from the very beginning.
TOP STAFF RESTRUCTURING – Vicky Elefthriade who has been working for the ITTF since the year 2009 as the Equipment Co-ordinator, has taken up the vacant position of Competitions Director and Matt Pound will become the Marketing Director. Elefthirade will be in charge of resrructruing the World Table Tenis Championships and further professionalising all the ITTF’s core sporting platforms by creating a strong competition team to achieve all the outline goals. The 34-year-old Master’s in Sports Science stated: “This is an exciting opportunity and at the same time motivating to be a part of the professional team all working to support the vision of Table Tennis“.
The new Marketing Director will be tasked with continuing the momentum that the ITTF has created since they took back the commercial rights in the year 2017.
CONTINENTAL INVESTMENT AGREEMENTS – The ITTF has signed two continental investment aggrements with Europe and Latin America. They are aimed at supporting the commercial and marketing capability within both the continents. Under the Europe Strategic Commercial Agreement, investment will be made in the marketing and the commercial support, including sponsorship, promotional and event support. As these regions have seen exponential growth more marketing and commercial support will be provided under the agreement.
LI NING’S SMASH – ITTF was pleased to announce Li Ning as the official Umpire and the Referee Apparel sponsor from 2018-2020. The Liebherr 2018 World Table Tennis Championships held in Halmstad, Sweden will see Li Ning as the sponsor for the referees uniform. ITTF head of sponsorships Kimberly Koh has stated that “It is great to welcome the leading sports brand into the ITTF family”. The move was welcomed by the ITTF umpires and referee committee as the Chair MA Young Sam added “Smart, Sporty and Comfortable. Finally, we have new uniforms for umpires and referees. I am sure that the new uniforms will make the playing area brighter and happier”.