Sepaktakraw has been given a revolutionary new brand identity, new TV-driven playing rules and formats were introduced, and an all-new and modern TV experience for audiences and fans around the world was rolled-out. ISTAF’s partnership with Asia Sports Ventures has brought about the creation of the world’s first and only international tournament platforms showcasing the very best of Sepaktakraw, and which finally brought the sport onto the world stage where it deservedly belongs.
The inaugural edition of Sepaktakraw’s flagship tournament, the bi-seasonal ISTAF World Cup, was staged in 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A memorable conclusion saw the Malaysian and Thai men’s national teams reaching the final, roared on by a packed stadium. The tournament (featuring 36 men’s and women’s national teams from as far afield as the USA, France, Germany, Switzerland and Australia) drew 13 million TV viewers in Thailand, over five million in each of Malaysia and China, and even three million on Eurosport 2 in Europe. It was televised in 68 countries across five continents around the world, and within 48 hours, the men’s final had been viewed more than 60,000 times on YouTube.
The ISTAF SuperSeries, a new series of elite tournaments designed to deliver to Sepaktakraw fans a regular pipeline of the very best the sport has to offer, was launched in Bangkok, Thailand following the 2011 ISTAF World Cup. International TV coverage and recognition of the inaugural ISTAF SuperSeries 2011/12 exceeded all expectations, and proved that passion for Sepaktakraw had finally been ignited in all corners of the globe.
The ISTAF SuperSeries has further built on the success of the 2011/12 Season by staging the ISTAF SuperSeries 2013/14 Season. A new region was introduced to the sport as India played host to the first ISTAF tournament ever staged outside of South East Asia. This was followed by the second leg in Thailand where Bangkok staged the first ever Sepaktakraw tournament broadcast LIVE in Europe. The ISTAF SuperSeries Malaysia, held in Sabah, further brought about technological innovations to the sport, where Ultra Slow Motion camera’s were used to broadcast LIVE, High Definition video world wide. The ISTAF SuperSeries FINALS 2013/14 then took sepaktakraw to a new high, with a revolutionary court setup and presentation, bringing sepaktakraw to a whole new level.
2014 will see even more development as Thailand stages the ISTAF World Cup 2014 in Bangkok, to be followed by the ISTAF SuperSeries Season 2014/15, which will see sepaktakraw brought to new regions and fans.
Fueled by creativity, ambition, and promise, we are now at the start of yet another fascinating period in our journey with ISTAF.