New Delhi, Delhi, India:STAR Sports, Asia’s leading sports broadcaster, today shared slew of production and marketing led measures to make inaugural edition of Hero Hockey India League (HHIL) commencing from January 14, 2013, a resounding success. The sports broadcaster also unveiled former India cricketer and Member of Parliament Navjot Singh Sidhu as the brand ambassador of the league. The inaugural edition of the league will be broadcast with Hindi commentary on STAR Sports while STAR Cricket will broadcast select matches of the league in English. Live streaming of all the matches would be available on www.youtube.com/thehockeyindialeague.
The broadcaster unveiled a panel of hockey experts and presenters who will do commentary on live telecast as well as pre and post match analysis through the league. The Hindi commentary panel includes eminent former Indian Hockey players like Mir Ranjan Negi, Jugraj Singh, Deepak Thakur, Mohammed Shahid and Pargat Singh. The English commentary panel comprises of Viren Rasquinha, Cedric D’Souza, AB Subbaiah and Sandeep Somesh.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Narendra Batra, Chairman, Hero Hockey India League, said, “All the preparations are in place for a world class hockey tournament. Along with all the franchisees, we are confident of delivering a product that India will be proud of. Our mission is to redefine hockey and along with the official broadcaster STAR Sports, we are confident of making Hero Hockey India League the biggest and most exciting hockey league in the history of the game.”
Aloke Malik, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd, said, “We are very bullish about the future of hockey and the Hero Hockey India League. We believe that Hockey as a game has the pull as well as the potential to become a prominent no. 2 sport in the country after Cricket. The game has huge following across pockets in the country. This league has all the ingredients like franchisee led teams, home and away matches and the world’s very best players in action to make it a success. This kind of a league has never happened in the history of Hockey before.
As official broadcasters, we will showcase hockey in a completely new avatar. It will be a TV experience relevant to India’s young sports audience. We will have HD production supported by new camera angles for sharper imagery. We will support the telecast with vibrant color stories to sustain viewer interest through the league. For providing our viewers with a sharp, incisive and engaging view of the game both in Hindi and English language, we have put in place an illustrious panel of experts as well.”
On the marketing front, Aloke added, “We have launched a high decibel 360 degree marketing campaign to promote HHIL across various communication platforms with the core theme as ‘Ladoh Toh Aise’ – Or “Fight Like this”. We have tried to capture the aggressive and positive attitude required to fight leveraging on speed and physicality of hockey in our campaign. To make it happen, we flew in celebrated ad-film director Nick Livesey from England who has shot hockey in an iconic new way. Advertising agency McCann Erickson India led by Prasoon Joshi and his team have been involved in conceptualizing this hi-decibel ad campaign.”
Brand Ambassador for Hero Hockey India League, Navjot Singh Sidhu, added, “Hockey is our mother sport. Overall, HHIL offers a brilliant marketing package to popularize the game. I believe this league will act as a catalyst to galvanize the growth of hockey in the country and revive interest amongst the youth.
Right now a few Indian players go abroad and participate in multiple leagues across the world. With the advent of HHIL, India will now have a world class event right at its doorstep. The best players from across the globe will be seen in action here. This will provide young Indian players the opportunity to rub shoulders with world class players and coaches and hone their skills further. I am looking forward to this exciting event and will definitely attend as many matches as I can.”
The ‘Hero Hockey India League’ is a truly global league with players from as many as 11 countries strutting their stuff. The tournament will see participation from as many as 53 Olympians. The first edition will see participation from 5 teams namely Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Delhi Waveriders, Mumbai Magicians and Ranchi Rhinos. A total of 34 matches will be played across 24 match days on home and away basis across five franchisee cities namely Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Jalandhar and Ranchi. Hero Hockey India League starts on January 14th while it ends on February 10, 2013.
STAR Sports will broadcast 31 matches, 2 matches will be broadcast on ESPN while 1 match is scheduled on ESPN HD. A total of 22 matches will be broadcast in English commentary on STAR Cricket. There will also be a 30 minutes highlights capsule each match day after the airing of the last match.
To view the photograph, please click on the link given below:
From Left to Right: Ms. Simran Kaur Mundi and Gurpreet Bedi – Presenter ESS – HHIL; Alok Malik, MD ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd., Former Hockey Players – Mir Ranjan Negi, Deepak Thakur, Jugraj Singh, Sandeep Somesh, Mohammed Shahid, Pargat Singh, A B Subbaiah, MP & Former Cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, Former Hockey Player Veren Rasquinha, CEO Hockey Ms. Elena Norman, Former Hockey Player Cedric D’Souza
Sameer Bajaj, ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd, +91 9811222700