16 Feb 2017

The return of commercial and marketing rights to the International Table Tennis Federation following an agreement last year with TMS International, two new members of staff have been appointed.

Jonny Cowan becomes the ITTF Partnerships Manager; Iulia Necula ITTF Event Marketing and Player Service Co-ordinator.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Master of Ceremonies at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games, his Irish lilt delighting the crowds; Jonny Cowan enjoyed a successful playing career becoming Ireland’s leading player. He competed in the World Championships in Tianjin in 1995 as well as in Manchester in 1997 and Osaka in 2001.

“I’m delighted to be joining ITTF Marketing and Commercial Director Steve Dainton and the team, on the next chapter of developing table tennis around the world, with a particular focus on Europe and enhancing the marketing and partnership elements of the sport”, Jonny Cowan

Notably, Jonny Cowan has extensive marketing experience, having been Head of Marketing for Everton, an English Premiership Football Club, whilst being involved with various projects concerning UEFA (Union of European Football Associations), the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Premiership Rugby.

“Having worked in the English Premier Football League and with other rights holders in different sports, I’m keen to increase our use of data and insight to build a global picture for our table tennis fans. Also, to enhance their experience with table tennis across all touch points and to add even more value to partners and sponsors by connecting their brands with table tennis and its fans in new and innovative ways”, Jonny Cowan

Now can Jonny make the same impact as his namesake, the one other player of international note with the identical surname? If he can he will be headline news around the world; even Donald Trump will jump to attention.

It was the late Glenn Cowan, who at the 1971 World Championships in Nagoya, mistakenly jumped on the bus comprising the Chinese Team. He received a present from Zhuang Zedong, sparked “Ping Pong Diplomacy” and the visit of Richard Nixon, the Unites States President to China.

Meanwhile, like Jonny Cowan, Iulia Necula has extensive international experience. She upholds the best traditions of Romanian excellence. She was the silver medallist in the Cadet Girls’ Singles event at the 2000 European Youth Championships and in the counterpart Junior Girls’ Singles competition two years later.

Additionally she competed in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

“It’s a big pleasure and a challenge at the same time to be working on the other side of the net. After more than 20 years competing as a professional player, it’s time for me to move forward and do my best in the ITTF marketing team.” Iulia Necula

Furthermore, she possesses a Masters’ Degree in Business Administration (MBA).

“The main objective is to improve the communication between the ITTF, the players and the event organizers. It’s time for table tennis to get more prominent and players to be treated with the level of importance that they deserve. There are many ways that table tennis can develop and I am very excited to be a part of it!” Iulia Necula

Delighted new staff members; it was a very similar reaction from Thomas Weikert, ITTF President.

“As the ITTF now has all our rights back in house, it is important that we boost our marketing presence in order to maximize all the potential commercial opportunities. Jonny and Iulia are fantastic hires, and I am sure they will be perfect assets to our already strong marketing team led by Steve Dainton.” Thomas Weikert

The duo will commence work immediately.

General News Iulia Necula Jonny Cowan