Hockey India League (HIL) has not only brought big bucks for the players, but has also brought cheer to local sports manufacturing firms as youngsters rediscover India’s national game long overshadowed by cricket.
Thanks to the hype that HIL managed to generate, sports equipment showrooms and online portals are selling hockey sticks like hot cakes.
According to a spokesperson for e-commerce firm Flipkart, sales of hockey sticks have grown 90% in the past month.
Snapdeal.com is planning a customer discount in the first week of February to boost the sales further. “There is a definite increase in sales across India and we are getting orders from both Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities. We have received highest orders from Hyderabad and Mumbai,” said Amit Maheshwari, VP, fashion merchandising, Snapdeal.com
According to research agency TAM, HIL’s first 6 matches were watched by an impressive 1.46 crore viewers. Swayed by the sudden interest, hockey stick manufacturers are raking in orders from across the country.
Firms, mostly located at Jalandhar, have seen sales doubling this month. “Our workers are spending 24 hours and producing 200 sticks per day against 100-110 sticks last month,” said Sanjay Kohli, president of Sports Forum and owner of the ‘Rakshak’ brand of hockey sticks.
Pushed by such ‘rare’ demand, price of sticks has also gone up by 15-20%. “The price of hockey sticks have gone up due to the urgent demand and escalated raw material cost,” said Rajan Kohli, MD of Jalandhar-based TK Sports.
HIL, which began on January 14, may lead to a three to four fold increase in the market of hockey goods, say experts.