Table tennis: Dentsu Sports Asia acquires equity stake in pro-league T2Apac

Feng Tianwei, ranked 11th in the world, was Singapore's only representative in the 2017 competition.
Feng Tianwei, ranked 11th in the world, was Singapore's only representative in the 2017 competition.PHOTO: T2APAC

SINGAPORE - Dentsu Sports Asia (DSA) has acquired a 20 per cent equity stake in pan-regional professional table-tennis league The T2 Asia-Pacific Table Tennis League (T2Apac), the two parties announced on Wednesday (Sept 26) morning.

DSA is the Singapore-based sports marketing subsidiary of Dentsu Inc, one of the world's largest media and advertising companies.

As part of broader efforts to grow the league's commercial capabilities, DSA will exclusively manage global sales and marketing of all commercial rights to T2Apac.

DSA will also seek to expand T2Apac's digital content and activations across social media platforms and broadcast television.

This follows the July 2018 announcement of the International Table Tennis Federation's (ITTF) partnership with T2Apac, whereby the latter will launch new Diamond-tier events in 2019 as test beds for new innovations, leading up to the revamped World Tour in 2021.

Jeff Chue, chief executive officer and commissioner of T2Apac, said: "Our vision for T2Apac is to fully professionalise the sport, and reshape the image of table tennis into a dynamic spectator sport that engages global audiences.

"I am confident that Dentsu's extensive sports and marketing expertise and global network will help to further foster the growth of T2Apac into a dynamic sports league at the forefront of global sports."

Kunihito Morimura, president and chief executive officer of DSA, added: "We are excited by T2Apac and its global vision to revolutionise the sport.

"It is relentless in the pursuit of transforming table tennis, fiercely embracing innovation and developing fresh, bold content for fans across the globe.

"We believe that this long-term investment will serve as a constructive collaboration to unlock the true commercial potential of table tennis."

The inaugural edition in 2017 showcased 36 of the world's best professional players from around the world competing for a combined prize purse of over US$2 million ($2.73m).

Feng Tianwei, ranked 11th in the world, was Singapore's only representative in the 2017 competition, and made it all the way to the final, where she was upset by Bernadette Szocs of Romania, then ranked world No. 57.