India is a great sporting nation and every sport has its own market- Elena Norman, CEO, Hockey India

Ahead of the finalization of Pakistan playing at the Men’s Hockey World Cup in India next year, Hockey India CEO, Elena Norman, opened up about marketing strategies, support from the State Government of Orissa, and spectators expected at Men’s Hockey World Cup next year. Excerpts:


Q. In a cricket dominated country, how does Hockey fair as a sport?

Hockey has an undeniable sporting legacy in India. It has been considered our national sport and many global hockey icons hail from India. No one can take away from its significance and anyway there is no need to compete with other sports. India is emerging as a great sporting nation and every sport has its own market and enough talent and support.

Q. Why Bhubneshwar as a city is chosen to organize events like Men’s Hockey World League Final 2017 or FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018 and not Delhi or Mumbai?

If one compares the level of participation in a tournament in Bhubaneswar vis a vis a tournament in Delhi or Mumbai, it is evident that the government investment in infrastructure and the number of informed and knowledgeable fans here is unmatched. The enthusiasm here speaks for itself.

Q. What is the kind of reach you are expecting?

As an event organizer, we hope to see packed stadiums and national awareness around the tournament. In this aspect, we are overwhelmed with the response in Bhubaneswar. Additionally, the entire tournament is aired live on Star Sports which is giving us national reach. The viewership and quality of production for TV is very good.

Q. How are you marketing the events?

We have Star Sports as broadcast partners, we are also broadcasting online via the International Hockey Federation (FIH) in several countries. We are also using outdoor hoardings, social media and big full-page advertisements in national newspapers. The tickets have been priced very well to make the event accessible to as many people as possible.

Q. What is the response you sense from the potential partners?

Sponsors obviously understand the value of these events, particularly the World Cup. They come to India with big support from the State Government of Orissa. Everyone is showing enthusiasm in partnering with such important global hockey events taking place in India.

Q. Do you have event partners/sponsors on board?

The sponsors & partners for the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League final include Odisha New Opportunities, Hero, Odisha Tourism, ONGC, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Star Sports, Loughborough University, Adidas, and Polytan.

For the World Cup, we have the government of Odisha as the presenting and host partners.

Q. What is the support you are expecting from the State Government?

We get support from the State Government on infrastructure. The Odisha Men’s Hockey World League final is a medium sized event. For bigger events like the World Cup, we look at the peripheral impact as well as upgrading accommodation and other facilities, local activations etc.

Q. How many spectators are expected to attend both the events?

The Odisha Men’s Hockey World League final – we are witnessing a packed stadium with a crowd approximating to 8500 for India matches. For non-Indian matches, we have approximately 5000 spectators. During the World Cup, the seating capacity is still being finalized and should be close to 15000.

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