The ITTF Finance Forum, took place on 15 August 2023 and provided a platform for transparency, accountability, and reflection on the financial progress made over the past year.
ITTF President Petra Sörling and ITTF Executive Vice-President in charge of Finances Roland Natran warmly welcomed participants. They extended their appreciation to all those who joined the forum, acknowledging the dedication of member associations and partners in supporting the ITTF’s mission.
Despite the challenges encountered, the year 2022 revealed the robust nature and untapped potential of the innovative business model of the ITTF Group. This pioneering approach involves the internal management of commercial rights through World Table Tennis (WTT), a dedicated platform created by the ITTF for events and commercial activities.
“We gather today to reflect on the steps taken and the progress achieved. This Finance Forum is a platform for us to share crucial information with you as we prepare for the upcoming Annual General Meeting, and we are all grateful to have you a part of this journey.” — Petra Sörling
ITTF Executive Vice President in charge of Finances Roland Natran, echoed the statement, adding, “The Finance Forum has always been a good opportunity to go into the details of the financial landscape of our organisation, showing us the improvements we have made and the challenges we have faced. Today, we are happy to have you join us as we dive into the financial statements of 2022 and look ahead and talk about our future.”
Consult the 2022 ITTF Audited Financial Statements here.
In 2022, the ITTF Group achieved a revenue of US$36.8M, displaying a significant growth rate of 82% in comparison to FY2021. This revenue includes income from various sources such as partnerships rights, media rights, event hosting rights, data, and streaming rights. The contracted Commercial Rights income was not fully maximized due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the number of events delivered was lower than initially anticipated for the year. Yet, with only approximately 40% of the targeted activity, the commercial revenues hit a record high in the 100-year history of the sport, nearly doubling the previous record set in 2019.
Central to the new business model lies a profit-centric perspective, a drive for professionalisation, and the amalgamation of all rights. Despite the hurdles presented by the global pandemic in 2022, and with 2023 also experiencing a reduced calendar of events, World Table Tennis has still emerged as a resilient and promising venture.
Steve Dainton, ITTF Group’s Chief Executive Officer, expressed his gratitude to the Executive Board and all members for their unwavering support. “These robust results underscore the value of WTT and its pioneering business model. As one of the most innovative structures among International Federations, we are outperforming many while making strategic investments for the future. Admittedly, adjustments were made during the pandemic and more will be needed to fine-tune this structure as we understand the market and the changes we see in 2023, but with the continued dedication and support of our members, elected officials, and our hardworking team, we are already beginning to witness its tangible benefits.”
Investments aimed at elevating the delivery of top-tier events, enhancing the experience for fans and players, and expanding information technology for global data provision, coupled with record-setting prize money, a skilled professional staff, and consultancy fees, yielded a controlled deficit of US$2.9 million, aligned with the projected figures during the early years of the new organisational structure.
With the management of commercial rights being handled in-house through WTT, more events, and with external investments, the ITTF anticipates a substantial increase in Commercial Rights Income in the upcoming years. WTT will undoubtedly continue to break records, and with time, its impact will only grow paving the way for the sport of table tennis to expand, attracting a broader fan base, and ultimately contributing to the overall financial growth of the ITTF.
The ITTF Group Chief Financial Officer, Michael Brown, provided valuable insights into the 2022 Financial Statements. “Our approach ensures the effective and efficient management of financial resources, in alignment with the organisation’s objectives,” Brown explained. “2022 was truly momentous for the ITTF Group, with WTT entering a historic partnership with an external investor – its inaugural equity partner with a 15% minority stake in the company. This collaboration showcases a key advantage of our new structure, enabling external partners to make significant contributions to the growth and expansion of WTT, as well as the broader table tennis ecosystem.”