Our Bureau

Bangalore, Dec. 15

ING Vysya Life, the insurance arm of the private sector ING Vysya Bank, has chosen to patronise hockey, instead of cricket, expecting it to take it closer to the Indian customers.

The company signed an agreement to sponsor the Bangalore team in the Premier Hockey League (PHL), played on a new set of rules allowing even foreign players' participation.

ING will sponsor the local team from next year when the second edition of PHL will be held in Chandigarh. It has also offered an insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh each to all the participating Indian players as part of the sponsorship agreement.

Mr Frank Koster, Managing Director of ING Vysya Life said his organisation's association with hockey was to develop and promote the game in India. He also admitted that hockey also would provide a broader platform to promote its brand.

PHL is a brainchild of Indian Hockey Federation, ESPN STAR Sports and Leisure Sports Management. They have also been given the responsibility of marketing and broadcasting the event for ten years.

Mr R.C. Venkatesh, Managing Director of ESPN Software Indian Ltd, said, "Innovations introduced in the game were appreciated by the hockey fraternity in India and worldwide."

According to Mr R.K Shetty, President, Karnataka State Hockey Association the sponsorship should help in improving the popularity of hockey while inspiring the players to improve their standards.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 16, 2005)
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