Coal India to be title sponsor of Hockey India League for 3 years

Coal India title sponsor of Hockey India LeagueKolkata: Coal India Limited (CIL), the state-owned coal mining monolith stepped into a new role as the Title Sponsor of the fourth edition of ‘Hockey India League’ for 2016 season, after the company’s Board cleared the decks for the project entailing Rs. 14.73 Crores as sponsorship payment. This includes the sponsorship fee of Rs. 13 crores as well as cash awards to Coal India best goal of the match in each of the matches and Coal India most valuable player of season and other expenses.

Christened ‘Coal India-Hockey India League’ the tournament would commence on 18 January 2016, culminating in a finale on 21 February 2016. A total of 34 matches are scheduled to be played across six cities of the country involving six franchise teams. The tournament has the sanction of FIH - the international body that governs hockey across the globe.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on Wednesday at the corporate office of Coal India, Kolkata between the two parties, Coal India Limited and Hockey League, the apex body governing the sport in India. The pact was inked by Mr. R Mohan Das, (Director, Personnel & Industrial Relations) representing the coal sector giant and Ms. Elena Norman, CEO Hockey India, and witnessed by Mr. Manmeet Singh, Goindi, Director, Sports Authority of India.

Coal India stamped the deal, for the title sponsorship, for three consecutive seasons beginning with 2016, subject to review at end of every year for continuance, for this most sought after franchise based hockey league event. The sponsorship fee for 2017 and 2018 is pegged at Rs. 14 Crores and Rs. 15 Crores respectively.

Labeling it as a “big ticket event”, Mr. Sutirtha Bhattacharya, Chairman CIL said “Hockey always enjoyed popularity in the country and we were once at the pinnacle of this game globally. Basically our intent is to encourage sports, especially hockey, and stoke the interest for the cause of youth. Coal India in its corporate citizenry role is actively involved in encouraging various sporting activities and talent hunt at grass root level around our mining areas, district and state levels. We felt it is time that we step into bigger shoes at the national level. So, this partnership is an extension of our long standing commitment to sports in India. We thank Hockey India”.

After sealing the deal, Mohan Das who heads Coal India Sports Promotion Association (CISPA) said “As a responsible corporate entity, encouraging sports and other cultural activities is as important to us as our business goals. Through CISPA we promote excellence in sports at all levels. We also aim to supplement country's efforts to help sports persons reach higher levels of performance." Referring to the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar 2015 that the company bagged, Mr. Das added, "The award was in recognition of our contribution in the field of encouragement to sports through Corporate Social Responsibility. We aim to continue in similar vein."

Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra said, “It is a proud moment for Hockey India League to have a public sector unit taking over the event as the Title Sponsor. The league has been of immense help for us in unearthing future talent, which we have seen in the recent performances of the Junior and senior teams. I am confident that this partnership is going to make Hockey India only bigger and bolder in the years to come.”