Stiga has been producing table tennis products since 1938, but did not become a formal company until 1944. The Swedish company quickly rose to a status entailing global notoriety as they were one of the first companies to mass-manufacture products for table tennis in an efficient way. To this day, Stiga sells anything table tennis, this includes everything from paddles, or blades as the table tennis jargon goes, to balls, bags, tables, clothes, and much more pertaining to ping pong. Additionally, they sell a changing variety of other sport novelties, like scooters, or table-top soccer, and more. If this list was strictly ranked, Stiga would be at the top because today, the majority of ping pong balls one might see are usually Stiga brand. One person they sponsor is 2019 World Junior Championship Medalist representing Sweden, Truls Moregardh.
Butterfly is another top tier brand - if this list was not fluid, it would be up there with brands like Stiga. It has had the worldly notoriety that a "top brand" needs to boast in order to be considered such an honor for a brand since 1950. Authenticity is never a question for Butterfly as it was founded by Hikosuke Tamasu, a Japanese table tennis player at the time, who wanted a great table tennis equipment company. So, he started the brand, Tamasu, which is what it was called before it went by "Butterfly." They sell all sorts of ping pong products such as balls and paddles, but are very well-known for their quality tables. I took a ping pong class at my university and the brands of tables that were at our disposal consisted of Butterfly and only Butterfly.
Cornilleau has a very unique story. It was started in 1946 by Emile Cornilleau, who opened a joinery shop in France, recognizing a high demand for joinery products in an area recovering from war. He started making tables, cabinets, etc. and it was not until 1969, when a Parisian company ordered the manufacturing of 300 ping pong tables. This is when Cornilleau's notoriety in the ping pong was born. Today, the French company can boast a table production number of over 3 million. Numbers don't lie of course, but Cornilleau has also sponsored a number of competitions for the past 30 years, such as the Spanish and French Open in 1989, and the Italian Open in 1992 to name a few, solidifying their position as a top tier table tennis brand.
Yasaka is another one of those top tier Table Tennis brands. It was founded in 1947 by two men named Hirosi Yaoita and Sakamoto, the name being a hybrid of their two names. Yaiota had humble beginnings and wanted to make quality table tennis products to improve his profession. His company shortly after made waves on a global scale. Making its mark on the table tennis world, Yasaka introduced to it "MARK V," which revolutionized any prior rubber technology. Rubber is on either side of a customary ping pong paddle and Yasaka patented the kind of such that is common to most paddles today. One notable player Yasaka has sponsored is Ma Lin, who won multiple gold medals while representing Yasaka. The Japanese brand has continually sold all sorts of quality table tennis products, while being highly known for its rubber innovation.
Joola was founded by Karl Frey in 1952. Quickly after the founding, the company started to manufacture ping pong tables. While tables became the main focus of Joola, they started to manufacture blades and rubbers starting in 1973, fastforwarding to its sales of balls, accessories, apparel, and more. Joola is a solid company with original roots, but what solidifies it as a top table tennis brand is its honor as the official table of three consecutive Summer Olympics (1996, 2000, 2004). It is one thing to be on the come-up as ping pong is growing as a global sport, but when a company can get the type of global recognition to be the table used at the olympics, the quality of their product becomes unquestionable.
Nittaku was started in the 1920s as a production company. It was not until 1947 when it started manufacturing table tennis products. Like many other brands on this list, Nittaku can boast a global come-up around the same time as the whole sport was becoming popular. With a history like this, this brand is definitely authentic. They do not have much of a presence in America as their HQ is in Tokyo, Japan, but they are definitely recognized as a top tier table tennis brand around the world as they have provided the official balls for three Olympics and seven straight European Championships. They sponsor a numerous amount of Asian table tennis pros, including Mima Ito, Hitomi Sato, and Ma Long to name a few. Perhaps the thing that solidifies Nittaku's place in this list is it being the sponsor of the International Table Tennis Federation, crushing any doubt of worldwide notoriety of this brand.
Victas was started in 1931 in Tokyo, Japan. They specialized in the production of balls made of celluloid at the beginning, but to this day they sell everything from blades to rubber, tables, accessories, apparel and more. The thing that sets Victas apart from a good amount of the brands on this list is the longevity they have had. It was one of the first companies to be well-known for selling table tennis products during the beginning of ping ping's popularity. They sponsor players like Yuto Muramatsu, Kazuhiro Yoshimura, and Kenji Matsudaira to name a few. What really solidifies Victas as a top tier brand is their consistency to manufacture quality table tennis products for over 85 years. Especially considering ping pong, a sport that has evolved and changed so much, Victas has always been known as a brand that makes quality products.
Tibhar is another classic company with a clear mission: to create quality table tennis products. It was started in Germany in 1969 by Tibor Harangozo, who was a professional table tennis player. In the beginning he focused on making a great blade and rubber, but to this day Tibhar sells products like tables, balls, apparel, etc. proving a larger range of products. They sponsor multiple players as well including Emmanuel Lebesson of France, Vladimir Samsonov of Belarus, and Tomislav Pucar of Croatia to name a few. Topping off their case for their place on this list of top table tennis brands is Tibhar being the official supplier of the 2007 World Table Tennis Championships in Zagreb. All in all, Tibhar is a solid brand that has produced consistently quality table tennis products since the sport started to get popular around the world.
Andro was started in 1970 in Dortmund, Germany. Scholer, a larger company at the time and Sport-Micke, a similar brand started by a player of the German national table tennis team, Wilfred Micke, merged after Sport-Micke was ordered to make custom racquet products. To this day, they are one of Germany's leading table tennis brands selling a multitude of ping pong products such as blades, rubbers, and balls to name a few. They have numerous pro table tennis players representing their brand, as well, such as Sharat Kamal Achanta of India, Simon Gauzy of France, and Killian Ort of Germany to just name a few. Something that sets Andro apart from a lot of these brands is its involvement in the development of ping pong skills in youth - they have sponsored kids tournaments in Germany for quite a while.
Donic has an interesting history that dates back to 1889. In the beginning, "Donic Schildkröt" was a brand that had a large focus on rubber and celluloid. They started to make balls and rubbers in terms of table tennis products, but today they have a larger range of goods for sale. They are based in Germany and have been a top brand for over a century. Authenticity is something that is unquestionable for this brand as they have been making quality products for a long while. No shortage of global recognition either: Donic has been the supplier of various table tennis products for multiple World Table Tennis Championships and has provided the tables for numerous European championships. Donic was on the come-up during ping pong's rise to global popularity, which is what makes Donic such a classic brand and one of top tier.