Sahara renews sponsorship deal with Indian Hockey

Sahara renews sponsorship deal with Indian Hockey

They have snapped ties with cricket but the Sahara Group has renewed its association with Indian hockey signing a five-year sponsorship deal with Hockey India.

Under the agreement, the country's men's and women's hockey teams at both the senior and junior level will get the company's financial backing till 2017. Without giving the exact details of the agreement, sources told PTI that the amount will be more than double of the previous agreement, which is also not known.

"We cannot disclose financial details as of now but the amount will be more than double the previous deal. The agreement will be till 2017 and it will cover men, women senior and junior teams," he said.

The official announcement will be made in the next couple of days. The players will sport the Sahara logo on their jerseys during the Olympic qualifiers to be held here from February 18 to 26.

The Sahara Group had first signed a sponsorship deal with then Indian Hockey Federation in July 2003 for eight years. The contract ended in 2011 and the extended period of six months also ran out last month.

Since then there was speculation regarding the new sponsors but there were positive indications from Sahara all through. The development comes as a major boost for the Indian team in this Olympic year. The men's team will face Canada, Singapore, France, Italy and Poland, while the women's team will square off against South Africa, Poland, Canada, Ukraine and Italy in the Olympic qualifiers.

Earlier, in a sudden development Sahara, sponsor of the Indian Cricket team for over 11 years, decided to part ways with the BCCI last week. The company had announced that the money saved would be used for the development of other sports and welfare work.