GAC GROUP & ITTF Announce Groundbreaking Sponsorship Deal

ITTF, Jan 11, 2012: GAC GROUP ITTF Groundbreaking Sponsorship Deal, The International Table Tennis Federation announces an impressive 2.5 Million US-Dollar prize fund for the all-new GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour with 1 Million US-Dollar allocated to the World Tour Grand Finals in December.

The announcement and official contract signing was made today in Beijing at the Hilton Hotel, Tianhe, Guangzhou. The agreement was signed by Neil Harwood, Executive Vice President (Finances) and Li Tun, GAC GROUP Investments Director. Also signed was an agreement that sees the GAC GROUP become title sponsor of the 2014-15 World Table Tennis Championships.

GAC GROUP 2012 World Tour

The GAC GROUP 2012 World Tour is set to replace the current Pro Tour and will provide an enhanced image as well as prize fund to the top tier events on the international table tennis circuit. The GAC Group, one of the most prominent companies in the Chinese car industry, sponsored the 2011 World Championships in Rotterdam and was keen to further their partnership with one of the world largest sports federations.

Adham Sharara, ITTF President, Said:

“The ITTF is extremely pleased to have provided an excellent return on investment (ROI) at the 2011 World Table Tennis Championships as the title sponsor.

The decision of GAC GROUP to become the Title Sponsor of the ITTF’s 2012 World Tour is a great fit between the ITTF and GAC. “Although the Word Championships provided high brand visibility to GAC over an intensive one-week period, the World Tour will provide regular, all year round, visibility on Television providing GAC with a presence all over the world.

“We are delighted with this new agreement and hope that the relationship between GAC and ITTF is a long and beneficial one.” First time in history of the ITTF, 1 Million US-Dollars prize money will be at stake at the year-ending Grand Finals, where 20 men and 20 women will compete for the highest ever prize money in table tennis.

Zeng Qinghong, General Manager of the GAC GROUP, Said:

“Table Tennis is a popular Sport all over the world and the spirit that table tennis embodies are the reasons why GAC GROUP would like to further its relationship with World Table Tennis Events.

“After the huge success of the GAC GROUP 2011 World Table Tennis Championships in Rotterdam we have seen that International Table Tennis Events are an excellent way for us to further promote our growing brand both within China and beyond. It gives us great pleasure to extend our relationship with the ITTF.”

The ITTF’s Sponsorship and Marketing Agency TMS International brokered the deal.

Anders Thunström, TMS Managing Director Said:

“The GAC GROUP has proved to be an excellent fit for sponsorship of world class table tennis events; at TMS we were keen to continue following a successful 2011 World Championships and worked hard to achieve what is now an excellent opportunity for both the ITTF and the GAC GROUP.

“World class table tennis continues to be an attractive sponsorship proposition and this agreement underlines that fact.”

The GAC GROUP 2012 ITTF World Tour is set for 16 destinations in 2012 making it one of the most comprehensive and ambitious competitions schedules of any international federation.

January

17-21 Hungarian Open, Budapest and 25-29 Slovenia Open, Velenje

February

7-11 Qatar Open, Doha and 14-18 Kuwait Open, Kuwait City

April

18-22 Spanish Open, Almeria and 25-29 Chile Open, Santiago

May

16-20 Korea Open, TBD and 23-27 China Open, TBD

June

6-10 Japan Open, Kobe and 13-17 Brazil Open, TBD

August

22-26 Harmony China Open, Suzhou and 29 – Sept 2 Czech Open, Plzen

September

12-16 Russian Open, Ekaterinburg

November

31 Oct – 4 German Open, Bremen and 7-11 Polish Open, Poznan

December

6-9 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, TBD

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