WTT appoints Cowan as European general manager
World Table Tennis, the new commercial vehicle of the International Table Tennis Federation, has appointed Jonny Cowan, former ITTF European marketing manager, as its European general manager.
Under the new role, Cowan will be responsible for laying out a strategic plan to grow table tennis across Europe, a key market for the sport, as well as generating tournament opportunities for WTT to unearth future table tennis stars in the region.
As part of his new role, Cowan will also drive sponsorship efforts and support media rights sales in Europe. He will start by working with partners including National Table Tennis Associations, commercial event agencies and venue operators to identify potential hosts for further events.
He will also begin the search for a host city in Europe for a Grand Smash, the highest tier of the new WTT event structure due to be staged in 2022.
Cowan said: “I have been involved in table tennis in various ways for over 30 years and I believe WTT can transform the sport and help grow the table tennis economy for the benefit of all its stakeholders.
“There is plenty to do in a competitive sports and entertainment market, and I look forward to working with commercial partner as well as colleagues in the European Champions League, National Associations, leagues, and clubs, coaches, and players to take our great sport forward.”
Cowan previously managed the ITTF’s marketing and partnership operations across Europe, including supporting the European Table Tennis Union for the last four years. Before that, he worked as head of marketing for English Premier League soccer club Everton and European soccer’s governing body Uefa.
He was previously a lead consultant at Two Circles, the international digital-focused sport agency owned by Bruin Sports Capital, where he worked with clients including English rugby union’s Premiership Rugby, the England and Wales Cricket Board and other national governing bodies.
Steve Dainton, WTT director, and ITTF chief executive, said: “Table tennis enjoys a strong tradition in Europe, and we recognise the major growth potential across the continent.
“We are looking forward to seeing our sport go from strength to strength under Cowan’s guidance and we wish him well in his new role.”
Meanwhile, Philippe Le Floc’h, WTT’s senior commercial strategy consultant, has extended his contract with the WTT for a second year.
Floc’h, who is the former chief commercial officer at Fifa and marketing director at Uefa, will continue to advise WTT’s leadership on the overall commercial strategy to drive table tennis forward.
WTT’s new playing format, scoring system, court design and prize money structure will be introduced to the ITTF’s calendar this year for the first time as part of a revamp for the sport.
The WTT is staging three event hubs this year: the Middle East from 17 March to 3 April; China from 13 April to 16 May; and Europe between 27 May and 6 June at a location to be announced in due course.