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A Long Haul For Brand Hockey To Be In League With IPL

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Certainly, the Hockey Indian League (HIL) has given the much needed oxygen to the sport. Germany’s Moritz Fuerste drew the highest ever bid in the history of HIL auctions after he was bought by Kalinga Lancers for a whopping $1,05,000 (Rs 69,46, 289), while Indian national team captain Sardar Singh turned out to be damp squib as he bagged just $58,000 (Rs 38,36,290 ) in New Delhi on Thursday (18 September).
“Hockey is aspiring to be big but the auction money is way behind Indian Premier League (IPL), and it will take another 20 years to reach that level as an iconic sporting brand and monetarily as well,” says marketing guru Harish Bijoor, CEO of Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch-owned Star Sports is the official broadcaster of the event and it has made around Rs 100 crore in its sponsorship package deal that would include title sponsor, on-ground, digital as compared to IPL season 8 fetched the broadcaster Multi Screen Media (MSM) around Rs 900 crore.
The 70 minute sport is all set to get more thrilling with new rule set only to make the game more of a thrilling experience only to draw eyeballs. While the coverage of an international Hockey World Cup match uses eight cameras to capture the on-ground action, Star Sports will employ 20 cameras for the HIL matches, which is modelled on the IPL Twenty20 tournament.
Six teams will participate in the HIL commencing January next year, with Orissa team Kalinga Lancers in their second stint with other teams of Ranchi Rhinos, Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Delhi Waveriders and Mumbai Magicians. 
Star Sports will shoot promos with each team to boost its popularity.
“With the new rules in the HIL, we expect more eyeballs, the game has gained popularity in the last two leagues and this time the viewership and revenues are expected to see a growth of around 5 per cent or more,” says a Star Sports spokesperson.
The aggressive marketing on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook will continue even this year. On TV, Star Sports will use EPL-like studio, set and camera work.
In the last few months Star Sports has picked up several key sponsorships and deals in the Indian sports, starting with title sponsorship rights for cricket matches in the country. It then picked up one-third stake in a company-owned by Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries and IMG — that is launching an IPL-style football tournament for Rs 2,000 crore.
HIL has signed a multi-year title sponsorship deal with the two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp, for the tournament, making it the Hero Hockey India League.
Besides Fuerste, the other Germans to have drawn the attention of the teams are striker Florian Fuchs, who was picked up by Dabang Mumbai for $96,000 (Rs 63,53,336) against his base price of $20,000 and midfielder Tobias Hauke who was purchased by Uttar Pradesh Wizards for $96,000 (Rs 63,53,336) against his base price of $25,000.
The other Germans to have drawn the attention of the teams is striker Florian Fuchs, who was picked up by Dabang Mumbai for $96,000 against his base price of $ 20,000 and midfielder Tobias Hauke, who was purchased by Uttar Pradesh Wizards for $ 96,000 against his base price of $25,000.

Tags assigned to this article:
Hockey Indian League ipl hockey star sports cricket HIL