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ITTF engages in continental investment drive

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has entered into investment agreements with its continental bodies in Europe and Latin America as part of a wider effort to expand the presence of the sport in regions around the world.

The deals set out plans for investment in marketing and commercial activities, including sponsorship, promotional and event support across both continents.

Both agreements will form a key part of the ITTF’s Strategic Plan from 2018 to 2024 to promote ‘Table Tennis. For All. For Life.’

In Europe, the ITTF has already succeeded in extending the sport’s reach and consumer engagement through the use of the European Table Tennis Union’s (ETTU) social media channels. The ITTF has also secured title sponsors for a number of major European events.

The sport’s global governing body will also seek to build on success in Latin America, where the Latin America Table Tennis Union (LATTU) has utilised both social media and live television broadcasts to connect with more consumers.

In 2016, the ITTF signed similar agreements with bodies in Oceania and North America. The organisation said it is also seeking further deals with other regions.

ITTF president Thomas Weikert said: “We believe that we can only achieve long-term and sustainable growth in our sport if we work collaboratively with our continental partners, national associations, and event organisers moving forward.

“I, along with my executive team and the marketing department, have been energised by the response from partners in Oceania, North America, and now Europe and Latin America. We are aiming to raise the bar, and our partners have responded very positively to the challenge.”

ETTU president Ronald Kramer added: “We have needed marketing and commercial support for some time and we have already started to make huge strides. I know the ETTU executive board and professional staff are committed to taking full advantage of this collaborative approach.”

LATTU president Juan Vila also said: “We look forward to working hand in hand with the ITTF through the agreement to help multiply the growth capacity and create the conditions and positive environment for important companies to be aiming to associate their brands with our sport, for the benefit of the LATTU and the ITTF.”