Hockey

Nimbus Sport, IHF launch World Series Hockey

Indian striker Sandeep Singh, part of the squad in the upcoming Hockey World Series. File photo  

India men hockey current team members Sandeep Singh, Sardara Singh, Adrian D’Souza, Dhananjay Mahadik and Gurjinder Singh were present at the announcement of the World Series Hockey (WSH). Nimbus

Sport and the Indian Hockey Federation have entered into a 15-year agreement to conduct the annual league spread over 10 cities in India.

Teams will be owned by corporate franchises and players will be allocated on the basis of draft pick. Performers will get guaranteed playing fees, endorsements and performance incentives. According to Harish Thawani, Executive Chairman of Nimbus Communications Limited, players’ initial contract will be for three years and estimated average earnings for performers will range from Rs 40-50 lakhs annually. Corporates owning teams have to make three types of payments (running expenses, commitment to hockey development and commitment to infrastructure development).

WSH’s first edition is expected to take place in November/December 2011 after the Champions Trophy, extending upto February 2012 and will feature 100 matches held over 10 weeks, involving around 250 players.

Each game will be broadcast live in at least 10 countries, according to Mr. Thawani, informing that 37 leading India players had already been signed up to compete in WSH. Slots have been reserved for 60 foreigners, to be signed up using accredited player agents.

Mr. Thawani was asked questions about Nimbus Sport’s decision to team up with Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), instead of FIH-recognised Hockey India (HI) for the new project. “IHF is recognised by the Sports Ministry and infrastructure like stadiums are owned by IHF. For example, stadiums in Mumbai and Bangalore are owned by the Mumbai Hockey Association and Karnataka State Hockey Association respectively, both part of IHF,” said Mr. Thawani, extending a welcome to HI for becoming part of the WSH project.

Responding to a question about HI secretary Narinder Batra’s statement in certain sections of media about denial of permission to Indian national men team probables wanting to take part in WSH, he said: “We are willing to release players for national camps and international competitions whenever there is a question of India representation.

After doing this, I don’t think HI will object to players becoming part of World Series Hockey. Then it amounts to restraint on trade, which is to be taken very seriously and won’t stand the test from a legal viewpoint.”

India captain Sandeep Singh denied receiving any instruction from HI so far on the issue of WSH participation. “I have not got any call from HI yet. Something like the World Series Hockey is happening in India for the first time,” said the penalty corner specialist. Asked whether he is willing to risk omission from the national squad against the prospect of an estimated Rs 40 lakhs annual League earnings, he said: “If I am good enough for India, I will be selected.”

R. K. Shetty, current president of IHF and K P S Gill, past president, also spoke, besides Yannick Colaco, CEO of Nimbus Sport.

PLAYERS

Signed for three-year period initially. Guaranteed payments in three categories--- Rs 5 lakhs, Rs 7 lakhs and Rs. 10 lakh, besides others like endorsements and performance incentives differing from franchise to franchise. Player allocation by Draft pick, based on systems used globally like the NBA.

FRANCHISES

First four franchises to join by invitation, given status of founding members. Next four or six may have to go through procedures. Franchise allocation for period of 15 year and based on financial strength of team owner, commitment of hockey development and commitment to infrastructure development.

BUSINESS MODEL

Ownership rights split between teams and League. Team rights include team sponsorship, ticketing and hospitality at home games. League rights include all event sponsorship and media rights. Percentage of League revenue to be shared with teams.

UNDERWRITING

Nimbus Sport to underwrite the entire cost of the League as well as pay IHF an annual fee for hockey development in India, amounting to Rs. 30 crores over the contract period OR share of League profiles, whichever is higher. Nimbus Sport to market all broadcasting and other electronic media rights.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 1:42:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/Nimbus-Sport-IHF-launch-World-Series-Hockey/article15611829.ece

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