by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Many notable officials attended the occasion with Thomas Weikert, the President of the International Table Tennis Federation and Khalil Al-Mohannadi being present to witness the occasion.
“It is the biggest contract we have signed; five times better than anything we have signed in the past”, said Alaor Azevedo. “It creates a strong relationship with India and with the BRICS countries.”
BRICS is the acronym for economic agreements between the economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Notably Stag is now the equipment sponsor for India and South Africa as well as Brazil.
“The target is to involve table tennis within this framework”, added Alaor Azevedo. “Also like India we have a passion for Table Tennis; in India their goal is a 1,000,000 players, for us it is 100,000; players of all levels.”
Currently there are some 24,000 registered players in Brazil.
“Also we are looking to promote tournaments with the new Stag equipment at the forefront”, stressed Alaor Azevedo. “Next year we will organise the Brazil Open and possibly we can consider the World Cup in the future.”
It is an eight year agreement but already Vivek Kohli is looking beyond the initial term.
“We are considering opening an assembly plant to produce tables and other equipment; then possibly extend to football”, he said. “However, I must stress that we are not just looking to promote our brand; also we are looking towards long term co-operation, so that Brazilian players enter the Indian Open and vice versa.”
Working together is very much at the heart of creating a working relationship on a wide scale and making a difference.
“I have been visiting Latin America since 2010 and I see great potential”, continued Vivek Kohli. “I see many comparisons between Brazil and India, both countries have mixed economies, there are the rich and the poor; from this mix there is tremendous potential.”
Spreading the word, the words of Table Tennis is at the top of the agenda.
“The Stag philosophy is the increase the numbers in the table tennis fraternity; the bigger the family, the bigger we become, everyone benefits”, concluded Vivek Kohli. “It gives me great pleasure to sign the agreement, it is a great honour and it is a privilege to work with the Brazilian Table Tennis Confederation and the International Table Tennis Federation.”
The agreement commences officially on Sunday 1st January.