The WTT Star Contender Goa, India’s largest international ranking table tennis tournament, has proudly announced ten significant partnerships to boost the event’s visibility and engage fans. The tournament, currently underway at the Peddem Indoor Stadium in Mapusa, Goa, and set to conclude on Sunday, is co-hosted by Stupa Sports Analytics and Ultimate Table Tennis, under the guidance of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI).
In a surprising move, Parimatch Sports which is a surrogate brand of illegal offshore betting website Parimatch, has been unveiled as the official presenting partner. This development marks their entry into the dynamic world of table tennis, raising eyebrows given their association with the illegal offshore betting website Parimatch. Despite repeated government advisories against such connections, the tournament proceeds with Parimatch Sports openly advertising as a partner.
It is worth noting that this announcement comes in the context of our ongoing efforts to shed light on partnerships with questionable brands. We have consistently exposed and covered affiliations with illegal brands such as Parimatch, 1xbet, Dafabet, Fairplay, Lotus365, among others, in the past. Despite the publicized risks associated with these entities and the explicit advisories issued by the government, the inclusion of Parimatch Sports as an official presenting partner in the WTT Star Contender Goa raises concerns and underlines the need for heightened scrutiny in the sports sponsorship arena.
Goa Tourism has taken on the role of principal partner, emphasizing its commitment to the development of table tennis. However, the questionable partnership choices continue as the Sports Authority of Goa and the Government of Goa join as supporting partners, despite warnings regarding the illegal nature of brands like Parimatch.
Megha Gambhir, co-founder and CEO of Stupa Sports Analytics, highlighted the importance of these partnerships for the tournament, expressing belief in contributing to a sustainable ecosystem for the growth of table tennis in India. UTT co-promoter Vita Dani extended gratitude to sponsors, including those with controversial associations, for their vital contributions to the overall experience for fans and players.
Partners also include India’s foremost gourmet popcorn brand 4700BC as the official snacking partner and Decathlon, the world’s largest sporting goods retailer, as the official sports retail partner. Mera Hoardings, a programmatic advertising platform for Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising, has joined as the official outdoor media partner to amplify the tournament’s reach.
The event features a star-studded lineup with top global players, including World No. 6 Hugo Calderano, last edition’s runner-up Cheng I-Ching (WR 18), and former World No. 1 Dimitrij Ovtcharov (WR 12), competing for glory in India’s biggest international table tennis tournament, boasting a $250,000 prize pool. Despite concerns over partnerships with brands like Parimatch, India’s table tennis stars, including Manika Batra, Achanta Sharath Kamal, Harmeet Desai, and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, are leading the home challenge.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) issued two advisories on October 3, 2022, urging private satellite television channels, digital news publishers, and OTT platforms to refrain from promoting illegal online betting and gambling through surrogate advertising. The advisories emphasize the government’s commitment to curb the negative impact of such promotions and encourage responsible advertising practices.