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Network Event 29 October 2009

2011 World Table Tennis Championships. East meets West. Sport matches business.

2011 World Table Tennis Championships in the top sport city of Rotterdam
Thursday 29 October 2009 marked the start of the 2011 World Table Tennis Championships with a network event for companies. A large number of invited guests were in the Ahoy Congress Centre for the kick-off of the 2011 World Table Tennis Championships. The World Championships will be taking place here in two years ’time, from 8 until 15 May, in a completely renovated Indoor Sports Arena. Contacts, sponsors and potential partners were received in a room full of atmosphere by Ton van Happen, the Championships  Director. Bettine Vriesekoop presented this event in English and Chinese.

‘Please, take your seats around the table’, said Ton van Happen. In the middle of the room there was a table tennis table. Various seats had been placed around this table where everyone could sit down. The theme of the World Table Tennis Championships is ‘Join the table’, here literally put into effect by everyone taking their seats. The lights were dimmed and two top Dutch table tennis players – Jonah Kahn and Cosmin Stan – gave a black light table tennis demonstration. Remarkable how well the ball can be followed – and this is the fastest ball sport in the world. A sporting beginning, after which the visitors were invited to play against Bettine. Hans den Oudendammer from Rotterdam Topsport accepted the challenge, but did not manage to get back more than two balls. A few more visitors took up the challenge, including a Chinese guest who was able to give Bettine a good game.

China is the largest country in the world where table-tennis is played by almost the entire population. The World Table Tennis Championships in The Netherlands provides an excellent platform for companies wishing to present themselves to the people of Asia, China in particular. With access to millions of people and many transmission hours, it will be possible to obtain a great deal of attention for brand and product. In 2009, over 270 million people world wide watched the World Championships in 360 hours of transmission time. China took up by far the greatest share in this. In China alone, more than 244 million people watched  the matches.

The World Table Tennis Championships is the top sport event in which both Dutch companies and Asian enterprises can increase their market value and realise invested sponsoring. Two promotion films show how large the sport is in China, how it is played there by everyone and the impact that world championships have. (These films can be seen on )


Copyright photo: Steven Ensering, Van der Graaf fotografie.

Jos van de Vegt - the CEO of Ahoy - is glad that the World Championships will be in the Ahoy. In 2011 Ahoy will meet the latest requirements for the public, business partners and players, at the same time offering excellent hospitality accommodation.

The chairman of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), Adham Shahara, is pleased with the world Table Tennis Championships in Rotterdam. The organization has started in good time and is professional in set-up. He draws attention to the fact that the event offers great exposure to partners, particularly in China. He hopes that companies will quickly link themselves to the event.

Copyright photo: Steven Ensering, Van der Graaf fotografie.

Ton van Happen, the championships director, gives those present an idea of the size of the event that will be played on 8 match days. 700 sportsmen and sportswomen from 140 countries are expected. It is anticipated that 350 journalists from all over the world will come to the championships. More that 15 000 hotel overnight stays will have to be arranged. Together with the World Championships, various other events will be organized, such as the Dutch Open for disabled players. For an entire week the whole Ahoy complex will be available for matches and side events. Click here for the powerpoint presentation

Copyright photo: Steven Ensering, Van der Graaf fotografie

Jochum Haakma - NCH/TMF Group - indicates that something great has happened and is still going on in China. He sees a revival in China that will continue in the coming years. Where the western world is experiencing a crisis at the moment, China is still in a growth phase. He anticipates that, in 2030, China will be the greatest economic power in the world. It is better for us to be on the scene than to criticize it. And there is no better way to achieve this than via Sport.

Copyright photo: Steven Ensering, Van der Graaf fotografie.

Michel van Grunsven – Triple Double Sport Marketing Agency – points out that sport stems from passion. Table tennis in China is what football is to us. The strength of sport is association, emotion and a platform from which to talk about your business. Sport and business are the perfect match. The 2011 World Table Tennis Championships offer customer-specific packages for companies wishing to link themselves to the event and make sport a part of their marketing strategy. Opportunities range from title sponsor to taking hospitality packages for business contacts. In 2011 it will be exactly 100 years since the first Chinese came to The Netherlands. So the World Table Tennis Championships is the sporting event where everyone just has to  be. Will you Join the Table? Click here for the powerpoint presentation

Network Event

On Thursday 29 October 2009 the network event: "Join the table in Sports & Business" will take place in Ahoy Rotterdam from 15.30 - 19.00 hours, being the kick-off of the 2011 World Table Tennis Championships. The program consists of various short presentations and interviews concerning the item "sports & business" as well as plenty of time to meet with the other people present.

Bettine Vriesekoop, best table-tennis player of the Netherlands ever and NRC's correspondent in Beijing for the last three years will conduct the network event and interview various sports and business representatives, such as:

  • Adham Sharara, president International Table Tennis Federation

  • Jos van der Vegt, chairman Chamber of Commerce Rotterdam and concurrently CEO Ahoy Rotterdam

  • Jochum Haakma, director Group Business Development TMF Group B.V. and concurrently chairman of the Board of the Netherlands Council for Trade Promotion (NCH)

  • Bob van Oosterhout, owner of sport marketing agency Triple Double

Table tennis is one of the most popular sports in Asia and in China in particular. For that reason the Chinese Television Broadcaster CCTV has already signed a contract with the International Table Tennis Federation to broadcast the 2011 World Table Tennis Championships in China. It is expected that more than 250 million Chinese people will watch one or more games during the WTTC. In addition, also other Asian television channels will broadcast the WTTC extensively. Given the enormous popularity of the table tennis sport on television in Asia, our speakers will set out why the 2011 World Table Tennis Championships in Rotterdam might be interesting to relate sports and business.

The theme of this 2011 WTTC is "Join the table", referring to our invitation to all top athletes, the fans who will be able to meet their champions in Rotterdam and the aim to let as many people and companies as possible participate in all kinds of events organised in the scope of the World Table Tennis Championships.

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