Table Tennis Australia Signs On Hyundai For Another Three Years
Table Tennis Australia has signed the largest sponsorship deal in its history to "help cover the cost of running" its int'l event, the Bennelong Cup. Hyundai has renewed its sponsorship, signing a three-year deal as title sponsor for the event. Hyundai will also supply all schools in the Bennelong electorate in northern Sydney, which surrounds Hyundai's Australian head office, with between $2,000 and $4,000 worth of branded table tennis equipment. Table Tennis Australia CEO Peter Marriott said that the inaugural event held in Oct. '11 had been "costly for the organisation, but had led to a significant boost in the sport's status in Australia and helped secure Hyundai's renewal and increased support" (SPONSORSHIPNEWS.com.au, 8/1).
PING PONG IN THE U.S.: XINHUA reported that the Int'l Table Tennis Federation "plans to work with" Microsoft Corp. Chair Bill Gates to "promote table tennis in the U.S." ITTF President Adham Sharara said that "the initiative was brought up after Gates came to London" to watch Sunday's game between U.S. teen player Ariel Hsing and Chinese Li Xiaoxia. Sharara did not disclose the details but said that "Gates offered to help after watching Hsing's match," in which the 16-year-old girl nearly pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Olympic table tennis history, pushing No. 2 seed Li to the limit before losing 4-2 in six tight sets (XINHUA, 8/1).