#MarketingExcellenceAwards highlight: T2 APL shines through with global Table Tennis tournament

Taking home the silver award in the category of Excellence in Sports/esports Marketing at Marketing Excellence Awards 2020 is T2 APL. The campaign that caught the judges’ attention is its execution of the T2 Diamond 2019, a global Table Tennis tournament.

As a brand, T2 looks to realise the vast potential of the sport Table Tennis. It sets out to reshape the image of the sport while upholding the highest standards of global competition. It continuously pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable in the world of Table Tennis by being fierce, provocative, and fresh. Driven by passion and ignited through creativity; it looks to become the global leader in unlocking the sports vast potential and boldly delivering it to the masses.

Challenge

Table Tennis is a highly technical sports played by athletes controlling a small white ball in a sterile arena. Tournaments are traditionally staged around multiple tables positioned at great distance from the spectators and with basic broadcast production specs. It was critical that T2, being the first to organise a professional Table Tennis event in Singapore, showcases the sport’s unique movements, lightning-fast reflexes and eye-blurring speed in ways that the sport had never found ways to achieve, in an atmosphere that is conducive to inspiring players and audiences alike.

Its key objectives were to:

  • Position itself as a disruptor and innovator of a sport that has been losing out on commercialisation due to lack of marketing creativity. Brand Building
  • Be the go-to brand for table tennis newness
  • Be seen as an engaging and people-first brand that is inclusive in its road of innovation.

Strategy

While there were several innovations developed for T2 Diamond Singapore, it was considered mission critical for T2 to showcase the pinnacle of international Table Tennis competition through captivating content that appropriately captured the sports’ unique movement, speed and reflexes to standards not previously achieved within Table Tennis.

T2’s world broadcast feed production was designed around 13 cameras mounted on various plane around the single championship table and leveraging the latest ultra-speed equipment so as to pick out every subtle player and racket movement and spin imparted during the game.

Execution

T2’s investment in its broadcast equipment enabled it to secure broadcast coverage with 10 broadcast rights holders for the event including multi-year agreements with major rights fees paid for key Table Tennis markets, as well as being able to support T2’s digital and social strategies.

T2 also initiated a programme to seek out and recruit ball-kids to assist the competition’s match officials on the field-of- play. The ball kids programme would enable all successful participants to have the opportunity to contribute to the staging of a major international event and have close proximity with top table tennis players and match play. A total of 65 children were assessed with 16 successfully recruited for their agility, speed, ball throwing, coordination and concentration/focus.

To target the coaches, T2 initiated a Coaches Conference in conjunction with CoachSG on 22 November 2019 at ActiveSG’s facility. T2 technical consultant and Table Tennis legend, Yoshihito Miyazaki, led the final hour of the conference focused on:

  • Nurturing the younger players with backhand-focused play
  • Footwork - shuffling side to side
  • Return of service

A total of 35 delegates attended, most are local coaches based in community centres and responsible for coaching seven to 12 year-olds.

T2 also wanted to make the event affordable to gain a wider reach of audience. To be the go-to brand, T2 ensured every person of the table tennis community have the opportunity to be present at the ground event, if not through the screens. Tickets were sold at affordable prices with Youth Tickets as low as SG$20 and special offering discount and bundle purchases to encourage the use of SportSG platforms – ActiveSG Wallet. A total of 600 complimentary passes were given out via its official venue partner, Our Tampines Hub, to encourage the community around the vicinity of the event venue to attend the event and eventually turn curious minds into loving the sport.

Results

T2’s broadcast and reach saw international exposure. Its brand media exposure by TV was valued at approximately US$109 million while its brand media exposure by online news was valued at US$21.7 million. Its YouTube streams also saw approximately two million views and 21 million impressions.

A total of 8,314 viewers attended the live event and over 3,000 fans watched the final games on 24 November. Of all the live spectators, 78% of them were from Singapore, while 8% were from overseas markets (mainly Malaysia, China, Japan, Indonesia).