ITTF beefs up marketing team after taking commercial rights in-house
The ITTF, table tennis' governing body, has strengthened its marketing team with two new hires, following a decision late last year to take its commercial rights in-house by ending a long-term partnership with TMS International.
The ITTF announced today that Jonny Cowan has joined as partnerships manager and Iulia Necula as event marketing and player service coordinator.
Cowan is a former head of marketing at Everton, the top-tier English soccer club, and also worked within the sports presentation team at the table tennis Olympic and Paralympic events at Rio 2016.
Cowan said: "I'm delighted to be joining ITTF marketing and commercial director Steve Dainton and the team on the next chapter of developing table tennis around the world, with a particular focus on Europe and enhancing the marketing and partnership elements of the sport.
"Having worked in the English Premier Football League and with other rights-holders in different sports, I'm keen to increase our use of data and insight to build a global picture of our table tennis fans, to enhance their experience with table tennis across all touch points, and to add even more value to partners and sponsors by connecting their brands with table tennis and its fans in new and innovative ways."
Necula is a former professional table tennis player, who competed for Romania at the 2008 Olympics. Her main role will be to improve the communication between the ITTF, the players and the event organisers.
ITTF president Thomas Weikert said: "As the ITTF now has all our rights back in house, it is important that we boost our marketing presence in order to maximise all the potential commercial opportunities."
TMS International had been the marketing partner of the ITTF since 2003, but that partnership ended last year, with Dainton managing the commercial business from Singapore, albeit agencies are likely to be sought to sell rights in certain territories or support the federation.
The new in-house commercial team's first piece of business was to land Seamaster, the Chinese shipping company, as title sponsor of the season-long World Tour in a four-year deal to 2020.