It all started in 2001 when a talented young player called Christian Süß played for Borussia Düsseldorf. And at the same time he was looking for an education place. The family entreprise in Düsseldorf offered him such an education place - it was the first engagement of the insurance company in table tennis. Since then, 15 years have gone by and the internationally active corporate group has strongly extended its engagement in table tennis. Beside the endorsement for the record champion Borussia Düsseldorf and the personal sponsoring of world star Timo Boll, in 2006, the sponsoring of the DTTB began. At the LIEBHERR 2017 World Table Tennis Championships in Düsseldorf ARAG will be Major Sponsor again just like five years ago in Dortmund as well as in Bremen in 2006. We asked Connie Peters, Senior Director Marketing at ARAG SE, why the family entreprise in Düsseldorf supports the "home game" and what they wish from the World Championships.
Mrs. Peters, the alliance between ARAG and table tennis started in 2001 with Christian Süß and Borussia Düsseldorf. Since 2006 ARAG has been a sponsor of the DTTB. And the World Championships this year will be your third WTTC as Major Sponsor. What makes table tennis worth supporting?
Table tennis is a perfect match for us because we have much in common. Top sport as well as mass sport, local anchoring, international reach and multi-generational target group - what is true for table tennis also applies to our ARAG Group. We are not only the biggest sports insurer in Europe, but we also actively succeed as insurer for private customers in 15 European countries as well as in Canada and in the USA. Therefore, our engagement in international top sport events such as the World Table Tennis Championships is of great importance to our locations outside of Germany.
Düsseldorf is host of the WTTC2017. The place of your business is in Düsseldorf. Is this the perfect "combination"?
Absolutely perfect! We have been waiting for a long time for the WTTC to come to Düsseldorf - the important center for table tennis and the location of our corporate headquarters. When the decision was made for Düsseldorf, we knew that we would get involved again as Major Sponsor. The current ticket sale figures already prove our decision to be right. Düsseldorf simply is a very attractive location for such an international event and there are many activities planned in advance of the WTTC. We are looking forward to a very successful and exciting sport event.
After all those years as sponsor and shortly before the WTTC: Has some kind of table tennis hype erupted already at the ARAG headquarters?
We have got many requests from staff and resellers asking whether we will raffle tickets again. In January we started our internal communication activities and a table tennis table has been set up in the foyer of the ARAG Tower. There are regular competitions in which people can win tickets for the WTTC. But by far, that's not all yet. Together with our long-time partner Borussia Düsseldorf we will promote many more attractive activities inside and around the ARAG Tower.
Finally: What do you wish for the WTTC? Or to put it differently: Which headline would you like to read afterwards about the WTTC?
Of course, I would like a sold-out venue and at the end an ARAG post on Facebook saying: Timo Boll is World Champion - all of Düsseldorf is upside down!