Odisha state to sponsor Indian hockey teams for the next five years
Hockey India’s current deal with Odisha for sponsoring the Indian hocket teams is estimated to be around Rs 150 crore for five years. Though the exact figures of Odisha’s deal could not be confirmed, it could be anything between three to four times of what previous sponsors Sahara was paying.other sports Updated: Feb 15, 2018 20:09 IST
The Indian hockey teams, men and women, will be sponsored by Odisha state government for the next five years, it was announced on Thursday. The eastern Indian state will also host the 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup from November 28 to December 16.
Hockey India’s current deal with Odisha is estimated to be around Rs 150 crore for five years. Though the exact figures of Odisha’s deal could not be confirmed, people familiar with the matter said it could be anything between three to four times of what Sahara was paying. Sahara’s 2012-17 sponsorship deal was valued at Rs 42.50 crore for five years.
“Hockey in Odisha is more than a sport; it’s a way of life, especially in our tribal regions, where children learn to walk with hockey sticks. No wonder, Odisha has produced some of India’s finest hockey players. This is a first where a state government will not just be promoting a sport within its boundaries but will support and nurture the national teams,” Naveen Patnaik, Odisha Chief Minister, said.
Following the deal, Odisha’s name will don the jerseys of both the men’s and women’s teams. The state, which hosted the Hockey World League Finals 2017, was also the sponsor of Hockey India League team Kalinga Lancers, which won the tournament last year.
Odisha had earlier hosted the 2014 Champions Trophy in which India had finished fourth. That edition saw Pakistan players making obscene gestures towards the home crowd after defeating India in the semi-finals.
Odisha have produced several hockey greats including former captains Dilip Tirkey and Sunita Lakra. The current Indian teams also have several players from Odisha including Birendra Lakra, Amit Rohidas, Deepsan Tirkey and Namita Toppo to name a few.
International hockey federation’s head Narinder Batra said they were happy with the new association. “It is very important for states to be involved in sports. Odisha have adopted hockey and as far as I know they would also like to sponsor archery, weightlifting as well as some disciplines of athletics,” Batra said.
“Sahara India has withdrawn its sponsorship after mutual consent with Hockey India. But we will continue to be associated with hockey probably as co-sponsor of the World Cup in Bhubaneswar but after consultations with Odisha Government,” Abhijit Sarkar, head of Corporate Communications, Sahara India Pariwar, said.