NEW DELHI, September 18: Hockey India today presented five-time FIH World Player of the Year Jamie Dwyer and India’s ace centre-half Sardar Singh as Brand Ambassadors for the Hockey India League besides unveiling a vibrant logo for the six-team, 33-match event that is due to start on January 5, 2013
Hockey India Secretary-General and Hockey India League Chairman Dr. Narinder Batra said he was excited that Hockey India’s vision of setting up the world’s best league rolling was coming true. “It is an immense honour for Hockey India League to have players of the calibre of Jamie Dwyer and Sardar Singh as Brand Ambassadors,” he said.
“We are moving full speed towards establishing Hockey India League as the world’s biggest hockey league. The enormous interest among players, both at home and overseas, should give everyone a fair idea about the quality of contests that we will see in the Hockey India League. The League will help players across the world and raise the standard of our game.”
Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla, who is on the Advisory Council of Hockey India League and was the Chief Guest at the launch today, said it was significant that the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has created a window for the Hockey India League. “It is our collective responsibility to ensure hockey regains space in the collective consciousness of the nation,” he said.
The 33-year- old Jamie Dwyer, who has been part of Australian teams which won the Olympic Games gold, the FIH World Championship, five Champions Trophy tournaments and three Commonwealth Games gold medals, said it was a privilege to be named a Brand Ambassador for the Hockey India League.
“I have always enjoyed playing in India and have looked to make hockey an attractive proposition for the youngsters,” he said. “Hockey India League is an excellent step in that direction not only for the Indian players but also for those from elsewhere. More importantly, the widely-broadcast League will give our sport a wonderful profile and I am delighted to be a part.”
India’s centre-half 26-year-old Sardar Singh, picked in the FIH All-Star Teams two years in succession and Player of the Tournament at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2010 and 2012, said he felt humble at being given the enormous responsibility of being a Brand Ambassador for the Hockey India League.
“From the Indian players’ perspective, I can say that on the one hand the League promises to ensure financial security while on the other, many young Indian players will get great exposure playing with and against some of the world’s best hockey players,” he said. “It will give them a platform to make a claim for the Indian team while increasing their confidence.”
Speaking about the logo, Dr Batra said its simplicity would bring along a high recall value. “Conceptualised and designed by Meridian Communication, Mumbai, the logo reflects speed, power and evolution, essential elements in the League. The graphic makes up a part of the letter L and has a hockey stick striking a ball while the line leading to the stick denotes action, essential to represent a fast, powerful game,” Dr. Batra said.
“The colours have been carefully chosen, with blue dominating the logo to give it a feeling of the openness and vastness of the sky. Pink is a playful, young color to represent the vibrant energy of the youth and the young at heart while yellow represents the radiating sun and speaks of hockey’s rising power,” he said.
Mr Rajat Sharma, Chairman and Managing Director, India TV, who is also an Hockey India League Advisory Council member, said he was confident that the league will play a big role in the revival of India’s hockey fortunes.
Sahara India, Jaypee Group, Patel-Uniexcel Group and Wave Group have already taken up the Lucknow, Punjab, Ranchi and Delhi franchises of Hockey India League. The names of the other two franchisees will be made known well before next month’s Hockey India League Players Auction. The well-established ESPN Star Sports network has the broadcast rights and will beam the 33 matches live.
Hockey India Press Release, Photo Courtesy: Hockey India.