Chinese shipping company Seamaster has furthered its backing of the International Table Tennis Federation by agreeing to title sponsor its Challenge Series, which will be revamped in 2019.
Seamaster is an ITTF strategic partner, currently sponsoring the 2017-2020 World Tour. Under the new two-year deal, Seamaster will join Chinese table tennis equipment manufacturer DHS as a Challenge Series partner until 2020.
Introduced in 2017 to give extra opportunities for upcoming players to earn international recognition and experience, from 2019 the tournament will be split into two tiers – ITTF Challenge Plus and ITTF Challenge.
The new Challenge Plus series – consisting of six events per year – will offer players higher world ranking points, increased prize money and greater exposure to elite table tennis competition.
Furthermore, the ITTF hopes that the more flexible requirements of the Challenge Series will allow more cities to stage an international table tennis event.