Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Forget pickleball: Tech CEO launches national pingpong league in Naples

A draft for players is expected later this year.

  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 2:00 p.m. March 30, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Flint Lane has big expectations for Naples-based Major League Table Tennis.
Flint Lane has big expectations for Naples-based Major League Table Tennis.
Courtesy photo
  • Charlotte–Lee–Collier
  • Share

Pickleball has been netting scores of headlines of late, with millions of dollars of investment and courts and clubs popping up from Tampa through Naples. The list of new entities includes a Naples-based national pickleball league for players ages 50 and up, co-founded by the onetime president of NBC News’ Strategic Initiatives Group.

Now a new national league centered on a sport with a net and paddle — pingpong or, more officially, table tennis — has joined the scene. Also based in Naples, this organization is called Major League Table Tennis. The league will feature eight teams in cities nationwide competing in a team-based format, according to a statement. The player draft is expected in summer 2023 and league play will begin later this year, the release adds. 

The CEO of the league is Flint Lane, who founded and ran a New Jersey-based software-as-a-service billing management firm, Billtrust, that was acquired by a Swedish private equity firm last year in a $1.7 billion deal. Lane, according to his LinkedIn profile, founded Billtrust in 2001, after stints with other tech companies and consulting firm Accenture. Flint and his wife, Kathy, according to the statement, also own two table tennis clubs, Princeton Pong and Naples Pong. The latter currently operates in temporary space out of the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County. Flint also previously served on the USA Table Tennis Clubs Committee.

Lane, according to the league’s website, has “played table tennis since he was a kid but really caught the bug when his wife Kathy surprised him with a birthday gift of table tennis lessons with three time Olympian David Zhuang. After losing 11-0, 11-0 (and it really wasn't even that close), Flint took up the sport seriously and is now solidly mediocre.”

Lane has since been promoting the new venture on social media.  

"Our goal is to elevate the fastest and most intense sport in America,” Lane says in the statement. "Major League Table Tennis combines my passion for building businesses and table tennis, and we're determined to construct this league in a way that everyone can enjoy, whether they're a participant, a spectator, or just a lover of action-packed entertainment. It's not just about winning, it's about the thrill of the game, and we can't wait to share that excitement with everyone," 

Table tennis has been an Olympic sport since 1988, the league says, “and is one of the most viewed sports in the world, watched by hundreds of millions of people on an annual basis.” MLTT will be the first professional table tennis league in the United States, the release states, featuring elite U.S. and international players, including Olympic athletes and national champions, with a team-based format culminating in a Final Four in 2024. With over $250,000 in prize money at stake, MLTT will be the most lucrative table tennis competition in America, the league boasts. 

“One of the merits of our league is the diversity of our athlete rosters,” the league says in the statement. “Players come from all over the world, bringing with them different styles and techniques that make match play exciting and competitive.”



Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon is the managing editor of the Business Observer. He has worked for the Business Observer since 2005. He previously worked for newspapers and magazines in upstate New York, suburban Philadelphia and Jacksonville.

Latest News


Special Offer: Only $1 Per Week For 1 Year!

Your free article limit has been reached this month.
Subscribe now for unlimited digital access to our award-winning business news.
Join thousands of executives who rely on us for insights spanning Tampa Bay to Naples.