Chinese shipping company Seamaster has enhanced its commitment to the International Table Tennis Federation by agreeing to back its new discipline, Table Tennis X.
The announcement came during a signing ceremony in Shanghai today (Tuesday), where Seamaster’s existing partnership with the ITTF World Tour was officially unveiled.
In January, the ITTF sealed a wide-ranging four-year sponsorship and strategic partnership deal for the World Tour with Seamaster, encompassing prize money, sports presentation, fan experience and global promotion of the tour.
It was revealed today that Seamaster will also become TTX’s exclusive commercial partner. TTX is designed to appeal to the youth market. It is time bound, uses a heavier ball so it can be played anywhere, and the racket does not have any spin, which seeks to break down the barriers for participation.
The ITTF, together with Seamaster, has been working since the launch of TTX at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to develop the equipment and technology for the new concept. The ITTF said rackets and balls will soon be made available to all, while mass participation TTX festivals will be held across the world, starting with one in Dusseldorf, just before the 2017 World Table Tennis Championships.
Seamaster chairman Frank Ji said: “Since 2012, Seamaster has been following table tennis because of my personal passion and the nature that both the sport and our business are worldwide bound.
“Seamaster and the ITTF have already worked on many projects together including the 2015 and 2016 ITTF Star Awards, 2016 Women's World Cup and the 2016 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals. Seamaster and the ITTF are in alliance in how the sport needs to be developed to move to the next level.”