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Polytan signs on as hockey body’s global turf partner

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has agreed a partnership with Polytan, under which the synthetic turf system manufacturer will supply surfaces for a number of the sport’s leading events in the coming years.

As an official global supplier of the FIH, Polytan will provide turf for the 2018 and 2022 Hockey World Cups and the 2020 summer Olympic Games in the Japanese capital of Tokyo. The 2018 men’s and women’s Hockey World Cups will be staged in Bhubaneswar, India and London, England, respectively. The host countries for the 2022 editions have yet to be announced.

The initial seven-year partnership will run until the end of 2022 and includes the option of a two-year extension to incorporate the Olympics in 2024. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although the FIH said Polytan would provide “significant investment.”

As part of the deal, the FIH will support Polytan’s business operations in key markets including India, China and Europe. The company will also be granted exclusive rights to the three tournaments. The rights package will include advertising campaigns, as well as marketing and networking opportunities.

“This has involved a considerable amount of investment which has seen our experts draw upon the knowledge of FIH and seek practical input from the sport’s leading athletes,” Frank Dittrich, chief executive of SportGroup, which owns Polytan, said. “This shows just how passionate we are about providing the best for our customers – something that will be recognised by the sport as we continue to work with FIH to develop hockey over the coming years as part of our relationship.”

The FIH in October launched its Quality Programme for Hockey Turf, which aims to provide high-standard playing facilities at all levels worldwide. The initiative was introduced as part of the body’s 10-year Hockey Revolution strategy, which seeks to inspire the next generation of players and raise the global profile of the sport.