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Star Sports set to ‘Fight Like This’ with Hero Hockey League

Unveils star-studded panel of experts and presenters for Hindi and English broadcast; appoints Navjot Singh Sidhu as brand ambassador

Star Sports set to ‘Fight Like This’ with Hero Hockey League

Unveils star-studded panel of experts and presenters for Hindi and English broadcast; appoints Navjot Singh Sidhu as brand ambassador

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | January 15, 2013


Star Sports yesterday shared slew of production and marketing led measures to make the inaugural edition of Hero Hockey India League (HHIL) commencing from January 14, 2013 a resounding success. The sports broadcaster has also roped in former India cricketer and MP Navjot Singh Sidhu as the brand ambassador of the league. The inaugural edition will be broadcast with Hindi commentary on Star Sports while Star Cricket will broadcast select matches of the league in English. Live streaming of all the matches would be available on

The broadcaster unveiled a panel of hockey experts and presenters as well as pre- and post-match analyses. The Hindi commentary panel includes eminent former hockey players like Mir Ranjan Negi, Jugraj Singh, Deepak Thakur, Mohammed Shahid and Pargat Singh. The English commentary panel comprises Viren Rasquinha, Cedric D’Souza, AB Subbaiah and Sandeep Somesh.

Narendra Batra, Chairman, Hero Hockey India League, said, “All the preparations are in place for a world class hockey tournament. Along with all the franchisees, we are confident of delivering a product that India will be proud of. Our mission is to redefine hockey and along with the official broadcaster Star Sports, we are confident of making Hero Hockey India League the biggest and most exciting hockey league in the history of the game.”

Aloke Malik, Managing Director, ESPN Software India, said, “We are very bullish about the future of hockey and the Hero Hockey India League. We believe that hockey as a game has the pull as well as the potential to become a prominent No. 2 sport in the country after cricket. The game has huge following across pockets in the country. This league has all the ingredients like franchisee led teams, home and away matches and the world’s very best players in action to make it a success. This kind of a league has never happened in the history of Hockey before.”

Malik added, “As the official broadcaster, we will showcase hockey in a completely new avatar. It will be a TV experience relevant to India’s young sports audience. We will have HD production supported by new camera angles for sharper imagery. We will support the telecast with vibrant color stories to sustain viewer interest through the league.”

On the marketing front, Malik said, “We have launched a high-decibel 360 degree marketing campaign to promote HHIL across various communication platforms with the core theme as ‘Ladoh Toh Aise’ – or “Fight Like this”. We have tried to capture the aggressive and positive attitude required to fight leveraging on speed and physicality of hockey in our campaign. To make it happen, we flew in celebrated ad-film director Nick Livesey from England who has shot hockey in an iconic new way. Advertising agency McCann Erickson India led by Prasoon Joshi and his team has been involved in conceptualising this ad campaign.

Brand ambassador Navjot Singh Sidhu commented, “Hockey is our mother sport. Overall, HHIL offers a brilliant marketing package to popularise the game. I believe this league will act as a catalyst to galvanise the growth of hockey in the country and revive interest amongst the youth. Right now a few Indian players go abroad and participate in multiple leagues across the world. With the advent of HHIL, India will now have a world class event right at its doorstep. The best players from across the globe will be seen in action here. This will provide young Indian players the opportunity to rub shoulders with world class players and coaches and hone their skills further. I am looking forward to this exciting event and will definitely attend as many matches as I can.”

The HHIL is a truly global league with players from as many as 11 countries. The tournament will see participation from as many as 53 Olympians. The first edition will see participation from five teams – Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Jaypee Punjab Warriors, Delhi Waveriders, Mumbai Magicians and Ranchi Rhinos. A total of 34 matches will be played across 24 match days on home and away basis in five franchisee cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Jalandhar and Ranchi. Hero Hockey India League starts on January 14 and ends on February 10, 2013.

Star Sports will broadcast 31 matches, two matches will be broadcast on ESPN while one match is scheduled on ESPN HD. A total of 22 matches will be broadcast with English commentary on Star Cricket. There will also be a 30-minute highlights capsule each match day after the airing of the last match.

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