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Chinese table tennis is getting out of dilemma

By Yutang Sports 27 Apr 2015

2015 Suzhou World Table Tennis Championship was facing a ticket rush in Jiangsu China on April 26th.But it appears that China, with her dominance in Table Tennis, is challenged by the development of table tennis league. 

There is rumor that CTTSL would have to sell the naming rights at a loss.

Chinese Table Tennis Super League (CTTSL), which will start again after the World Table Tennis Championship ends, was once added on trading list for the first time in March. 

According to recent reports, the sponsorship fees offered by Teda Quanjian, the sponsor of CSL club Tianjin Teda FC, was around 10 million yuan, which would be left far behind by the money invested to football. 

Despite both sides have not officially signed the deal, it will be finalized when the World Table Tennis ends, according to source. 

Teda Quanjian Group will invest about 10 million yuan to CTTSL to gain the naming rights and the privilege to display branding presence on the backs of table tennis players. This will surely end the awkwardness caused by a sponsor-free season last year.

A source revealed that the heads of CTTSL expected more money for the deal but they had not much to bargain as few sponsors were impressed by the offers. Reportedly, it needs about 30 million yuan, three times of the sponsorship fees, to run the CTTSL. So there has been increasing concern about the marketization of CTTSL and Chinese dominant sport—table tennis.

Chinese national table tennis teams are the core of the sport in China and they are always the favorites in world championship. There are arguments that the brilliance of Chinese national table tennis teams has struck the development of the sport as people are less interested because they believe China can win most of the medals at any level of table tennis matches. But this could not be considered as the main reason for the difficulties that CTTSL is facing. 

Like table tennis, badminton and volleyball are facing similar challenges as the sports reform in China has just begun to have an impact on the transition of Chinese sports from gold medal-driven sports to professional sports.

It is fair to say that Chinese table tennis has made the first step to a more professional sport with CTTSL 's efforts in promoting the brand. But there is more CTTSL can offer to boost the development of table tennis league in China. 

For instance, the portraiture rights and commercial rights of players could be returned to the clubs and players themselves by the CTTSL in order to attract more attentions from sponsors and investors.

As suggested by Liu Guoliang, the general coach of Chinese national table tennis teams, star players and popular competitions are critical to promote the sport in China. This could be another approach taken by Chinese table tennis.

In a word, Chinese table tennis is facing challenging difficulties with CTTSL closed to sign a sponsoring deal with Teda Quanjian at a lower amount of money than they expected. But it also marked the efforts made by CTTSL to promote the sport development.  

Source: Tencent Sports

Tags: table tennis
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