Included in the sponsorship funds is Rs 13 crores that includes the sponsorship fee, and cash prizes for the Coal India Best Goal of the Match, which is awarded after each match, and for the Coal India Most Valuable Player of the Season, amongst other specific expenditures.
The tournament will now be known as the Coal India – Hockey India League. The first game will be played on 18th January 2016, with the final match taking place on 21st February 2016. The tournament will take place with six franchise teams. During the tournament, there will be 34 matches played in six cities.
A Memorandum of Understanding was entered into between the Hockey League and Coal India. It was signed in Kolkata at Coal India’s corporate headquarters. The Chief Executive Officer of Hockey India, Elena Norman, signed the Memorandum on behalf of the Hockey League, and R Mohan Das, the Director, Personnel & Industrial Relations, signed on behalf of Coal India.
The agreement was entered into for the upcoming season, along with the next two seasons. The 2017 season sponsorship will total Rs 14 crores, and the 2018 season will total Rs 15 crores.
The Chairman of Coal India Limited, Sutirtha Bhattacharya, said: “Hockey always enjoyed popularity in the country and we were once at the pinnacle of this game globally. Basically our intent is to encourage sports, especially hockey, and stoke the interest for the cause of youth. We felt it is time that we step into bigger shoes at the national level. So, this partnership is an extension of our long-standing commitment to sports in India. We thank Hockey India.”
Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra commented: “It is a proud moment for Hockey India League to have a public sector unit taking over the event as the Title Sponsor. The league has been of immense help for us in unearthing future talent, which we have seen in the recent performances of the junior and senior teams. I am confident that this partnership is going to make Hockey India only bigger and bolder in the years to come.”