ESPN STAR Sports announces Garv campaign for PHL

MUMBAI: ESPN STAR Sports has taken Hockey in India to a new high with the third edition of the Premier Hockey League (PHL). The premier broadcaster is building PHL, the premier hockey tournament in the country, on regional pride to evoke popular support for the seven teams in the league. After the announcement of celebrities supporting the seven teams, PHL today announced the campaign "Garv Nahin to Kuch Nahin" which will support certain causes for each PHL team from the seven states. PHL will build support and will contribute towards renaissance of sports in the state of Maharashtra.

Announcing the causes for each state, R C Venkateish, Managing Director of ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd said, "People are passionate about seeing their team win and this regional pride of witnessing your team perform well will motivate them to stand up and be counted. The "Garv Nahin to Kuch Nahin" campaigns look to highlight the regional pride among the seven states and invoke support through the causes that are a part of state we all live in. We plan to celebrate January 4, 2007 as "The Pride Day" across the country when PHL begins as a mark of passion and love for hockey and support and encouragement for your own state team."

PHL will encourage regional support through PHL team bands that will sold at ADIDAS outlets across the country. ESPN STAR Sports has also tied up with the music company Sa Re Ga Ma to build a Garv package that will be retailed at stores in the country. Fans across the nation will also be able to download a host of features like ring tones and wallpapers to support their favourite teams. Proceeds from the sale of the bands, the albums and the downloadable services will go towards the dedicated cause of the region. In Maharashtra, the proceeds will be diverted to the sports associations and federations as funds for the resurgence of the Maratha sports community which boasts of an illustrious legacy in India.

This announcement follows the recent announcement by the brand ambassadors for each team in the league, who were roped in to uplift the team spirit and provide popular support to the teams off the field as a part of the "Garv Nahin to Kuch Nahin" campaign. Southern movie superstar Madhavan will throw his lot behind the Chennai Veerans while the eternal loverboy of Bollywood Jimmy Sheirgill roots for Sher-e-Jalandar. Likewise, VVS Laxman will back Hyderabad Sultans, Ravi Shastri will support Maratha Warriors, Debashish Mohanty will back Orissa Steelers while Prakash Padukone will champion the cause of Bangalore Lions.

Speaking on the occasion Ravi Shastri said, "PHL will be the genesis of the revival of Indian hockey and will hopefully carry the Indian national hockey side to important victories in tournaments abroad. I am proud to be a part of PHL cause that will look to uplift the sports scenario in Mumbai."

Launched with an aim of reviving the glory of hockey in India, the Premier Hockey League has already established itself as one of the most important hockey tournaments in the world. More than 25 international players from 6 countries have taken part in the two editions of the league so far. Commenting on the success of PHL, RC Venkateish said, "The premier hockey league has been a great success and has given a chance to many youngsters to groom themselves in the early stage of their career by rubbing shoulders with the best players in the world. The league will only become bigger in times to come.

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