The countdown to Hockey World Cup 2018, the grand sports spectacle has begun. With barely 20 days to go before the tournament takes off on November 28, the gusto has scaled a fever pitch. After an immensely successful campaign titled ‘Heartbeats for Hockey’, the euphoria has grown among the fans.
Hockey has remained in the shadows of the profoundly appealing sport cricket. Despite its deemed national game tag, hockey never quite spawned the hysteria cricket did. Realising the limitations, the department of sports & youth affairs embarked upon an enormous publicity exercise to sensitise sports lovers on hockey and its craze. The publicity efforts have proceeded with full steam, blurring boundaries and borders. Hockey publicity blitz has gone global. More, the strategy to co-brand hockey and tourism is showing promise to deliver.
R Vineel Krishna, director sports & youth affairs and CEO at Sports Authority of Odisha is galvanising efforts from all stakeholders to make the Hockey World Cup a runaway success. By hosting events of this scale, the bigger goal is also to position Bhubaneswar successfully as a ‘Sports Capital’- a coveted identity tag for the number one Smart City. Krishna is working tirelessly to achieve the title for Bhubaneswar.
The out of the box publicity efforts for hockey especially at international destinations speak volumes of his commitment. Recently, the Odisha tourism stall showcased the state with the tagline- ‘Odisha, India’s Best Kept Secret’ at the World Travel Market (WTM), London. As part of the branding exercise, the state has conflated promotion of both hockey and tourism. The Hockey World Cup billed as a big crowd puller, is also seen as bringing windfall gains for the state’s tourism sector as the peak season for visitors kicks in. The advertisement reading, ‘Art by Sunrise, Art by Sunset’ while proclaiming the Hockey World Cup, is a facile yet powerful way of drawing international visitors to Bhubaneswar. The sporting event beginning November 28 will continue till December 16.
Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi felt that this was a positive move and it provided a great opportunity to introduce Odisha Tourism and Odisha Men’s World Cup Hockey in the International Arena. The WTM was a good platform to showcase Odisha’s Innovative Brand of Ancinet Culture-Sun Temple Konark and Sports-World Cup Men’s Hockey.
Odisha Tourism, one of the major partners of India Tourism, which was the Premier Partner for WTM London 2018, effectively promoted upcoming Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. The stall for Odisha Tourism at WTM London was abuzz with Odisha: Men’s Hockey World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018
Earlier an advertisement on Odisha Men’s World Cup Hockey was placed on a Grand Bus running in the streets of London, the Capital City of England. As part of the Branding and Promotion for the World Cup and Odisha Tourism, the State Authorities have taken a Grand Bus in London and had done the branding.