Sahara in global partnership with Int Hockey Federation

MUMBAI: After conquering the hearts of millions of hockey lovers in India, Sahara India Pariwar has joined hands with Federation Internationale de Hockey (FIH), the world's apex body for Hockey.

Sahara has now become the fourth global partner of the Federation and has clinched a three year deal all set to be finalized by the end of this month.

As a global partner, Sahara India Pariwar will join FIH's three global partners, BDO International, Rabobank and Samsung. Sahara will also be getting title rights and branding opportunities at major FIH tournaments, till the men's and women's World Cup in 2006.

The FIH, as the sole international governing body of Hockey, retains overall responsibility for hockey worldwide, which includes the rules of hockey, umpiring, coaching, the global development and promotion of the sport. It also possesses the rights for all world level hockey competitions and to sanction and stage such sporting events.

As a result of this partnership, Sahara India Pariwar will enjoy prominent brand visibility in other major international tournaments like the Mens and the Women's World Cups and Champion Trophies, including title rights to the Mens Champions Trophies in 2005 and 2006.

Sahara India Pariwar chairman Subrata Roy said, "Hockey is the national game of India. We would do everything possible within our parameters to bring back the lost glory of this game, within our nation as well as internationally. We want to see the national game of India prospering worldwide. This significant deal with FIH will not only help us promote hockey as a game globally but will also go a long way in promoting Indian hockey globally. This is a very positive step towards a brighter future of hockey."

Global Hockey Partnership director Henk Westerlaken said, "I am delighted that the initial success of the Global Hockey Partnership has been capitalized upon by the consortium reaching full strength. I look forward to welcoming Sahara personally and to working with them to assist hockey's promotion and worldwide development."

FIH President, Els van Breda Vriesman commented, "This is another huge step for the promotion of world hockey. Sahara India Pariwar's involvement as a Global Partner demonstrates hockey's ability to attract the backing of major multi-national organisations throughout the hockey world. Coupled with the resurgent enthusiasm in Indian hockey, with their qualification at Madrid to the Athens Olympics, the addition of a major Indian corporation to the hockey's Global Partnership can only strengthen hockey's renaissance in India."

The sponsorship was brokered by Leisure Sports Management (LSM) MD S S Dasgupta. Dasgupta said, "Sahara India Pariwar, over the years, has grown not only to become a top company in India but also one of the very best in the whole world. As part of their global outlook Sahara now join hands with FIH. We at LSM feel proud to have played a significant role in this tie-up."

Established with founder members BDO International and Rabobank at the beginning of 2003, the Global Hockey partnership began as a sponsorship consortium of up to four partners. Samsung joined the partnership in August last year and with Sahara; the consortium has now reached its maximum number of places for its first term of 2003-2006. The Global Hockey Partnership has enabled FIH to develop a central, global sponsorship of major hockey events for the first time in its history.

The revenue from the Global Partners sponsorship will directly benefit host organisers of FIHs major events and will also be used by FIH to improve the events quality and profile, by enhancing spectator facilities, TV production and youth activities.

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