Tuesday, January 4, 2011

World Hockey Series

The two year long wait for a hockey fan is now over. Thanks to Nimbus sports and Indian Hockey Federation, World Hockey Series (League) has been announced today. the $1 Million league will have 100 matches played over a period of 2 and half months and consisting of 8-10 teams. All players who represented India in Commonwealth Games and Asian Games have signed a contract which will make top players richer by 40-50 lac annually.
The league will also have 60 of top international stars and the teams will be decided according to the draft system used in American sports. Nimbus Sports has signed a 15 year old deal with the IHF and they will be giving Rs. 30 crore to IHF every year even if theleague is a failure.
This news is music to the ears of hockey fans and as well as players. From Rs. 25000 p.m to Rs. 40 lac a year (match fees and endorsement) is a great boost for the players and will be great motivating factor for the players. The least amount of take home salary for a senior player will be 25-30 lacs per year.
Hockey league for hockey development
The tournament will be franchise based with powers controlled by the federation and the owners of the team. Franchise owners will be decided on their financial power, commitment to develop hockey and commitment of investment in hockey infrastructure in India.
Nimbus sports have taken responsibility to manage market and broadcast this league in 70 countries putting it on par with very popular European Hockey League.
The biggest advantage of this league is the commitment by the franchise owners to develop the hockey infrastructure in the country.
There will be 160 Indian players and 60 international players playing in 10 different teams. 10 teams will play on home and away basis and the teams performing best will go for play-off to decide the winner. Players have signed an initial three year contract
Nimbus chairman Harish Thawani has also challenged to Hockey India as well as Federation of international Hockey to stop players from taking part.  This league is a win-win situation for everyone who participates in it. There is no doubt that hockey needs marketing and World Series Hockey is a great way to market the game of hockey. The revenues generated from the league will be shared with the franchises, while the revenues generated from the team rights (sponsorship, tickets and hospitality) will be retained by the franchises.
This league is a great prospect because of success of PHL. PHL was a good tournament which developed players for the national team but it could not sustain itself due to lack of capital and endorsements. But this franchise based business is very good for hockey players, fans and federation.
After a long time hockey is being given its due space in Indian sports, hope this tournament brings forward more Dhyan Chands and Dhanraj Pillays and help India achieve the elusive Olympic GOLD.

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