In order to create a buzz around the Premier Hockey League 2007, ESPN-STAR Sports has roped in some popular names from movies and sports as brand ambassadors for the tournament. There will be individual team ambassadors, who will participate in events concerning their respective teams, as well as the official brand ambassadors for their particular sides.
Cheering for the teams would be Southern actor R Madhavan, who will back the Chennai team, Bollywood actor Jimmy Shergill would be backing the Chandigarh team, cricketer VVS Lakshman would be there for the Hyderabad Sultans, former cricketer Ravi Shastri would be backing Mumbai, Debashish Mohanty for Orissa, and former badminton champ Prakash Padukone would be cheering for Bangalore.
Announcing the brand ambassadors, RC Venkateish, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, said that this would build team spirit on a city-team level. "I think there is hardly any attention paid to local sports in our country. This should encourage more team spirit between city-level teams. We are also targeting school children to create interest in hockey from an early age."
Said VVS Laxman, "Hyderabad is home for me. This is a wonderful opportunity to be associated with my home hockey team. I am going to look forward to cheering for it."
R Madhavan, too, was delighted to be cheering for the Chennai Veerans. "Chennai is where my heart is," he said.
Ravi Shastri, cricket commentator and former captain of the Indian team, who will support the Maratha Warriors, has been interested in hockey for a long time. He felt, "There will be a strong internal competition because of this, and it will change the future of hockey in our country."
Jimmy Shergill said, "I am proud to be associated with Chandigarh, as we Punjabis usually play to win. I'm sure my hometown will hold the Punjabi spirit and pride high."