The International Table Tennis Federation will rebrand as World Table Tennis in 2021 ©ITTF

International Table Tennis Federation President Thomas Weikert heralded a bright future for the sport at the recent team World Cup in Tokyo.

The Federation will rebrand as World Table Tennis from 2021 in a bid to improve its professionalism and Weikert is looking forward to table tennis' new dawn.

He said: "We are committed to following our new strategy. 

"We must be transparent, uphold good governance and make sure that all of our stakeholders can follow our steps forward. 

"We want that players are more satisfied by prize money and events themselves, while we also want to support our members by making more money to reinvest into the development of our key stakeholders."

The sport's governing body confirmed the new commercial vehicle at the ITTF Executive Committee meeting in October.

It is seen that World Table Tennis will help to facilitate more innovative conversations with potential partners, enabling the ITTF to modernise its commercial business activities and unlock the sport's full potential.

Chief executive Steve Dainton addressed long-term investment for the Federation during the tournament in Japan.

He added: "Through World Table Tennis, we are endeavouring to build a platform that really benefits our athletes and fans, enabling better structured events and higher prize money. 

"Lots of time and resources have gone into this, as it's a huge project that will revolutionise our sport for good. 

"The professionalisation of our core top products is something that had been missing in our sport - this is a great moment for table tennis."

Table Tennis for Health is the message at the first ever World Parkinson’s Table Tennis Championships © ITTF
Table Tennis for Health is the message at the first ever World Parkinson’s Table Tennis Championships © ITTF

The ITTF has grown significantly since 2017, with the full-time staff extending beyond 70 members.

The ITTF Foundation was established in May 2018 and opened its new headquarters in Leipzig in Germany in September, giving the Federation the opportunity to centralise its efforts for development.

Among its new projects are a first World Parkinson's Table Tennis Championships, held in New York, and the Slum Ping Pong initiative to leave a positive legacy through table tennis in Kampala in Uganda.

Dainton said: "We have added significant extra resources to ensure the Foundation is a success this year. 

"The activities that the Foundation undertake also have a huge social benefit and it is therefore in our interest to ensure that table tennis can also be a tool to ensure positive action in society. 

"We believe that the investment we have made will allow the Foundation to build the team to become more self-sustaining in the future."

Weikert explained an overhaul of the Federation's governance has involved a review of its constitution.

He added: "It includes a discussion for a possible change with regard to the participation of the Continental Federations, which would enable them and their leadership to be closer to the main decision-making bodies of the ITTF."

The World Table Tennis Championships will also undergo a makeover from 2021 in a strategy to expand the sport's global footprint and visibility.

"We have invested plenty of time and resources alongside our Continental Federations to get the structure of the new World Table Tennis Championships Finals right, especially the pre-finals stages," explained Dainton.

"We have no doubt that 2021 will see the greatest World Championships ever, but we are also fully committed to structuring this in a way that works best for our stakeholders. 

"We, with our commercial partners, will be committed to investing into ensuring this success."