Back in 1944, STIGA started to produce their own table tennis equipment; always with the aim to do better and better, until they became number one. In close collaboration with the Swedish Table Tennis Association they made table tennis a sport for every Swede. DURING A PERIOD OF STRONG ECONOMIC expansion in Sweden during the 1960s, more or less every school, every private house and every company had table tennis tables for pupils, families and employees on which to play. Furthermore by sponsoring big competitions with tables, the STIGA logo flew around the world and attracted media attention; world champions like Hans Alsér, Kjell Johansson and Stellan Bengtsson were contracted, the effect was the STIGA name was associated indelibly with table tennis, globally respected, an unrivalled reputation.The name STIGA became synonymous with quality, progress, fun, and success; in addition the company seized the initiative. In their development work they employed Swedish stars and paid them the best salaries in the table tennis world at the time. Alsér, Johansson and Bengtsson left their mundane jobs and became the first pro- fessional athletes in Swedish national sport.