Odisha, who are also the hosts of this year’s men’s World Cup, came on board after Hockey India terminated their deal with Sahara that was extended till 2021 in January 2017.
In a first, a state government will sponsor a national team. Odisha government announced a five-year deal with Hockey India on Thursday to replace Sahara as the sponsors of all national teams — junior and senior, men and women, in a deal estimated to be approximately Rs 150 crore.
Odisha, who are also the hosts of this year’s men’s World Cup, came on board after Hockey India terminated their deal with Sahara that was extended till 2021 in January 2017. Although no official reason was given for two parties ending the deal prematurely, a Hockey India official said it was a ‘mutual decision’ owing to the crisis that has engulfed the company. Sahara were associated with Indian national teams since 1995 and although their contract amount for the 2017-2021 period was not made public, it is believed they paid close to Rs 40 crore for the five-year cycle from 2012 to 2017.
Hockey India’s deal with Odisha government comes in one of the busiest years for the Indian hockey teams.
The men and women’s team will take part in April’s Commonwealth Games and Asian Games in August and while the women’s World Cup is scheduled to be held in London in July, the year ends with the men’s World Cup, which will be played in Bhubaneswar.