The Promise of US Table Tennis: TOP SPIN Documentary

Aug 22nd, 2011No Comments

Fact: The United States has never medaled in table tennis at the Olympics.
Fact: No United States Player has medaled at the World Table Tennis Championships since 1956.
Fact: President Barack Obama is REALLLYYY bad at table tennis. Barack Obama Table Tennis

Is it fair to conclude that the United States grooms poor table tennis performers?

Undeniably, it is hard to dispute this claim. The United States lack of success in international table tennis is exhibit A and B, and the prosecution would need no further questioning.

But the past is the past. There is always a future.

Introducing Michael Landers and Ariel Hsing, two U.S. table tennis prodigies, one male and one female, poised to make the U.S. contenders in the sport of table tennis.

In 2009, Michael Landers ripped through a field of more experienced competitors in route to becoming the youngest ever U.S. Men’s Singles Champion at the age of 15. And then, in 2010, it happened again; Ariel Hsing became the youngest ever Women’s Singles Champion in the United States. She was also just 15 years old.

The story is simply captivating, and this is why Mina T. Son & Sara Newens, two filmmakers stationed in Palo Alto, CA, have decided to document these two on their journeys toward table tennis greatness.

“The film follows Ariel and Michael for a year as they compete domestically and internationally to qualify for the Olympics, all while juggling their last years of high school. Amidst the rigorous training and strict tournament schedule, SATs and college applications loom largely over their heads with the ultimate question arising: with no professional table tennis outlet in the U.S., what does the future hold for them?”(

Check out the documentary’s IMBD page: TOP SPIN

Landers and Hsing represent the future of table tennis in America. Recently, the sport has had a domestic resurgence, as ping-pong has become an extremely popular bar sport. Now ping-pong (or table tennis) needs a face. Landers and Hsing have the potential to be America’s ping-pong ambassadors.

Michael Landers: Youngest US National Champion

This is Why Everyone Wants to Work for Google…

Aug 18th, 2011No Comments

Exhibit A

Ping Pong at the Google Office

Earlier this week, Google announced its intent to acquire Motorola Mobility. And on August 15th, this intent became a reality when Google acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, the largest acquisition in company history. Why is this acquisition so significant?

Well in contrast to other companies that produce smart phones, (such as Apple, RIM, and HP), Google had not owned any of the hardware on which its operating system runs thus far. Since Android debuted in 2008, it has always been “powered by Google,” but not run by the company. Now, the technology giant owns the phone company that they have helped “fuel.”

So how does one of the most successful companies in the world celebrate a great business success?

Wine and Champagne? Nope.
An Elegant Dinner Party? Not even close.
Clubbing? No way.
A Game of Ping-Pong? OF COURSE.

That’s right. After Google and Motorola made a landmark business decision, they decided to celebrate with a game of ping-pong. In the picture at the top of the page, you can see Andy Rubin of Google, Sanjay Jha, CEO of Motorolla, and others enjoying a game of ping-pong at Google’s headquarters. Oh how so many of us envy the casual and graceful nature with which Google conducts its business.

Ping Pong Apartment

Aug 10th, 2011No Comments

Daniel Arsham is a Brooklyn resident who lives in an apartment that is only 90 square feet. It is barely big enough to sleep in, nonetheless live in. Yet, at the same time, I doubt there is a single ping-pong fanatic who would not to spend some time in his place.

As an architect, Arsham is very adept at constructing an apartment. The walls in his place look utterly fantastic. On second look, however, his walls aren’t exactly typical…. In fact, they’re not walls at all.

What Are His Walls Made Of?!

Wait… Are Those Ping Pong Balls!!!

Introducing the world’s first (or at least the only one I’ve ever seen) ping-pong ball apartment. Yes that’s right…. Arsham’s walls are made up of about 25,000 ping-pong balls. Take a look at the pictures…. the place is REALLY cool. Thankfully, he doesn’t have a kitchen in his apartment, because if you’ve ever lit a ping-pong ball on fire….you know what I am saying.

Ping! Initiative

Aug 10th, 2011No Comments

Less than a year away from the Olympics, London is preparing for the media circus that inevitably accompanies such a globalized event. Locals are especially excited about hosting and hope that their nation’s best athletes will serve them well—- protecting the Mother Land, as they would say across the pond. Unquestionably, the English will look to medal in the three events that have been their best historically: athletics, rowing, and sailing. But as I’ve mentioned in earlier blog post, there is a strong desire to medal in table tennis in particular.

The reason for this dates back to 1880.

1880, Great Britain—- A couple upper-class elites were bored after a riveting dinner party. Buzzed off of wine and scotch, a few men decided they wanted to play a game. They began setting up a row of books along the center of the dinning room table. One man picked up a golf ball and a book (the original racquet—- no pimples), and proceeded to hit the golf ball over the net. And so, the game of table tennis was born, or as they called it then, “wiff-waff.”

As the inventors of the sport, the British feel a certain national pride behind ending the Asian domination of table tennis at next year’s Olympics. Drinkhall is one of many Brits behind the cause.

In light of the sport’s recent resurgence in the United Kingdom, David Goobold and Chris Craig began the Ping! Initiative, which aims to get more people involved in sport in the run up to the Olympics. In short, they’ve brought table tennis to the streets on London, outside of some of the nations largest business headquarters, in an effort to increase participation and interest. In total, they have set up nearly 100 ping-pong tables across London for the public to play on.

Ping! Initiative

Covent Garden, London, UK

Paul Drinkhall: Quest for an Olympic Medal

Aug 3rd, 2011No Comments

2011 WCPP participant, Paul Drinkhall, has been fervently preparing for the 2012 Olympics in London, eagerly awaiting his opportunity to defend his home turf. Drinkhall, the top table tennis player in the United Kingdom since the age of 16, is entering his prime at the age of 21, and believes that he has the ability to put an end to the Chinese domination in table tennis at next year’s summer Olympics.

Drinkhall has always had immense respect for the way in which the Chinese train their table tennis players. In order to receive training and exposure, Drinkhall has visited China annually since he was little kid. He’s been quoted saying that in order to become a better player, it is necessary to play against Chinese players.

One of the many lessons Drinkhall has learned from Chinese players is the importance of commitment. He highlights the fact that while European players tend to seek a balanced life (between professional table tennis and other lines of work), Chinese players devout all their energy to their training. Drinkhall has now picked up a twice-a-day, three-hour training schedule that was modeled after his Chinese counterparts.

Root for Paul Drinkhall in the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games!

Paul Drinkhall

Mexican Franchise Opportunity Available Amongst Others

Jul 20th, 2011No Comments

We at the World Championship of Ping Pong are continually looking to expand our brand and global reach. One of our primary mechanisms to achieve this will be global franchises. The purpose of these franchises will not only be to expand the reach of ping-pong, but to feed the best talent each country has to offer to the World Championship of Ping Pong. The winner of the WCPP’s Mexico franchise, for example, will go on to represent Mexico in the main tournament.

The WCPP strongly desires to act as a “partner” with every local franchisee, sharing multiple revenue streams as well as relationships. They will generate revenue from the following ways:

Master Franchisor Revenue:
· Gross sponsorship/advertising sales for events held within Canada.
· From sales of all “city” franchisees, which you can sell by acting as the Master franchisor (i.e to the Mexico City or Tijuana franchisees)
· Sponsorship secured for the Mexican player in the globally viewed WCPP broadcast
· Inventory sales (rackets, balls, tables) and Tournament Fees
· Monitor all secondary revenue streams- including both licensing and media

The following Mexican players are some of the nations best. The Mexican Master Franchisor should personally invite the most talented players in his or her country to participate.

A dominant presence in the Latin American Table Tennis community, Marcos Madrid was nothing short of dominant at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games, winning the gold in Men’s Singles, a bronze in Men’s Doubles, a silver in Mixed Doubles, additionally Madrid is a four time Mexican Table Tennis Champion. He is currently ranked number 247 in the world, and is presently living and training in China.

Salvador Uribe is young talented Mexican ping pong player. He has performed brilliantly in recent events and continues to improve his world and Mexico rankings. He is considered one of the top five players in Mexico. Salvador Uribe is currently ranked in the top 1,000 players in the world.

If you are interested in owning the Mexican Franchise, or wish to inquire about other international franchise opportunities, please contact Bryan Ciambella at or call him at 212-953-3000.

Marcos Madrid

Salvador Uribe

Ping Pong Gets Huge Boost in Singapore

Jul 18th, 20111 Comment

Singapore has historically been one of the better table tennis countries in the world with four players currently ranked in the men’s top 100 and five players currently ranked in the women’s top 100. Singapore has always aimed to compete with the Asian superpowers in the sport, such as South Korea and of course, China. A recent sponsorship deal should give them the necessary financial boost to help them to become one of the top table tennis countries in the world.

On July 14th, the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) signed its biggest ever sponsorship deal with menswear apparel manufacturer Crocodile International Ltd. (Americans know Crocodile as the group that manufactures the Lacoste brand). The sponsorship deal is reportedly worth about $820,000 U.S.D. ($82,000 annually) over a ten-year span. Its goal is to help the STTA support and develop the best young players in Singapore, in addition to creating the Crocodile Challenge Cup. The inaugural Crocodile Challenge Cup is set to begin this year on November 10th-13th in Singapore. The cup will only involve primary school students of Singaporean citizenship, as an attempt to showcase the country’s rising superstars, and will feature a total prize fund of $14,790 U.S.D.

Undoubtedly, sponsorship is key component in developing the sport of table tennis around the world. While Singapore may never be as good as China, this deal gives them the opportunity to compete with the likes of Germany and South Korea as the second best table tennis nation. We hope that they are successful, and that they inspire other countries to acquire sponsorship deals for youth programs of the same magnitude.

Frank Caliendo Loves Ping Pong: No Joke

Jul 14th, 2011No Comments

It all started in 2009. Caliendo, a family man with a wife and children, was bored while on his weekly stints in Las Vegas. He needed something to do—- after all, most activities in Las Vegas aren’t exactly family friendly. And so, Caliendo accidentally stumbled upon a table tennis club, picked up a paddle, and since then, hasn’t stopped playing.

Caliendo has frequently attributed his recent weight loss (of 25 pounds) to picking up the sport. He has been quoted saying that ping-pong players do not get enough credit in America. They are “legitimate athletes,” he has said, “and the best are like martial artists.”

Caliendo’s ITTF rating is currently 1,700 and he continues to play competitively.

SPiN Franchise Continues Expansion

Jul 12th, 2011No Comments

With branches already in New York, Milwaukee, and St. Petersburg, America’s premiere social ping-pong club, SPiN Galactic, is expanding its operations north of the border and into Toronto, Canada. At the beginning of August, Ryan Fisher, whose father is heavily involved in the Firkin Pub Group, will open the new Toronto SPiN Galactic in a 12,000 square foot basement space located in the heart the city’s downtown area.

The World Championship of Ping Pong appreciates all that does SPiN Galactic does for the promotion of the sport both from a social aspect and from an athletic perspective. Ping-pong’s growth as a bar sport in America, proves that the sport has unlimited potential domestically.

SPiN now has four locations in North America