This new Strategic Commercial Agreement adds to a similar deal signed with ITTF-Oceania last month and will be the framework for future agreements with the rest of ITTF’s continents, with whom the ITTF is already in discussion.
The deal involves the ITTF investing significant financial and human resources into the region to assist its commercial growth, and the popularity of the sport in the region which has an enormous amount of potential for table tennis.
ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT stated: “Due to having great commercial results since we took back the marketing rights at the start of 2017, we are continuing to work with our continental partners to look at how to grow all of our commercial businesses, and at the same time, grow the sport globally. North America is a place that the ITTF has always seen as a big potential growth market, so we are very excited to have this opportunity to work hand in hand with ITTF-North America to make this happen.”
ITTF-North America President Tony KIESENHOFER added: “This strategic investment offers ITTF-North America the opportunity to build a sustainable organization that will focus on bringing regular international events to North America, such as regular ITTF World Tour events with qualified staff to implement these events at a professional level.”
“Further, the increased capacity resulting from this agreement provides an opportunity for ITTF-North America to found a professional league in North America which, in turn, will inspire and offer professional opportunities to the next generation of North American table tennis athletes.”
“Last but not least, the professional structure that will result from this investment allows ITTF-North America to collaborate with its member associations on a successful grassroots development strategy.”
“I am thrilled that the current ITTF leadership is investing the funds that the ITTF gained by taking back some commercial rights from TMS in the continents. We understand that such an agreement will be on offer for all continental federations and I encourage my colleagues in other continents to take advantage of this opportunity and bring our sport, Table Tennis, to the highest international level.”
ITTF Marketing & Commercial Director Steve DAINTON concluded: “We are all excited about these Strategic Commercial Agreements as they are a perfect way for the ITTF to work closely with our Continental partners to commercialize our sport in all regions. That being said, these agreements are an investment from the ITTF, and we will be expecting a return in the future, so we all need to work hard together to produce the results that we know are possible.”
This is a milestone moment in the history for table tennis within North America, that will create opportunities and benefits for both ITTF-North America, ITTF and table tennis in general.