How table tennis wants to embrace a ‘lifestyle spirit’ in brand and game overhaul

The game of table tennis has been given a makeover as the governing body for the sport looks to drive youth participation and make it more appealable on a global level.

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has worked with Brand Union to introduce not only a new branding strategy but also a new format for the sport named Table Tennis X (TTX), a new time-bound format that reduces the skills gap between participants and increasing the level of variety to gameplay. Specially redesigned equipment is being rolled out including heavier balls and simplified racquets to encourage longer rallies.

On a branding level the new identity, Live the Beat, uses a vibrant, multi-coloured palette and has been created for an “always-on audience”. The different elements of the identity aim to express “the spontaneous, freestyle nature of the experience”, in a more human way.

Dan Ellis, regional creative director, Brand Union (South & SE Asia) explained the concept: “It’s been a great experience to develop this new brand with ITTF, involving strategic and creative minds from the very beginning. The result is a dynamic new identity that is disruptive, unexpected, and full of attitude. Considering the global scale of ITTF's operations and its wide reaching, international consumer base, we believe this new brand will connect with players and spectators in a compelling, human and motivating way.”

TTX will be rolled out globally in a phased approach over the next few months, with a launch event earmarked for May 2017, at the World Table Tennis Championships in Dusseldorf, Germany.