Barely three months ahead of hosting the Hockey World Cup, the Odisha government is aiming to intensify publicity campaigns in major participating countries.
Fresh from a successful campaign in London, Odisha is targeting similar promotion activities in Malaysia, Australia and Netherlands, the chief hockey-playing nations. The Hockey World Cup is scheduled between November 28 and December 16 this year.
“We are reaching out to the High Commission offices of these nations to map out strategies for promotional activities and identify the sites where our campaigns can be staged. The state government is also trying to raise some sponsorship from the corporates who have a major presence in the state”, said an official source.
The World Cup fever has already kicked-off with 'Heartbeats for Hockey', a movement that attempts to get India behind hockey by way of music, entertainment, fashion, wholesome sport and panel discussions.
Recently, the initiative was launched by unveiling the digital campaign starring the National Hockey Team urging people to pledge their support for the game.
“We are asking India to give their heart to hockey. And, this by way of a nationwide outreach where we go to the heartlands of hockey and ask people to come and immortalise their heartbeats by recording them on a specially-designed hockey stick,” said Nupur Mahajan, brand strategist and creator of the campaign in a statement. Mahajan is working alongside the Odisha government as Communication and Strategy Consultant for Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018.
Each time anyone holds the custom-made hockey stick, named ‘Heart Beat’, they record their heart beat as a pledge to support hockey. Over the next few months, Heart Beat will travel across the country through the ‘Hockey Adda’, a curated on-ground discussion platform for hockey players and experts alike with youth in the audience.
India’s collective heartbeats, gathered over four months, will be presented to the 16 captains at the opening ceremony of the tournament, which is scheduled for November 27.
The state government which is projecting Bhubaneswar as the country’s sports capital, is looking at cross-promotional tourism activities to run in tandem with the sports campaigns. The idea is to showcase the city as a tourism centre of choice by leveraging the significant footfalls anticipated for the hockey spectacle. The state tourism department is preparing tourism packages for the visiting hockey players, accompanying officials and inbound visitors.
A branding initiative is planned at all the major airports in the country along with a teaser video launch at the Women Hockey World Cup in London 2018. In addition, sports exchange programmes are being planned with New South Wales (NSW), Australia. This initiative will take off with a hockey-friendly series with NSW. The tourism department is expecting a footfall of around 40,000 during the Hockey World Cup. For accommodating the foreign guests, the state government is reaching out to engineering colleges, public sector undertakings and corporates for sparing their guest houses.
For the Hockey World Cup, an international team slogan campaign is to be launched for each 16 participating nations. Prime Ministers of all the participating countries would be invited to be a part of the Hockey World Cup 2018.
The Hockey World Cup is slated to be promoted at international conferences and events, including all government-level international delegations. The embassies of all the participating nations are proposed to be engaged for the sporting event. Also, a student exchange programme is mooted between the schools of the hockey playing nations.