Hockey: Investec to end sponsorship of GB and England teams

Lily Owsley celebrates (pic England Hockey)

Lily Owsley celebrates (pic England Hockey) - Credit: Archant

England and Great Britain Hockey’s nine-year relationship with Investec will come to an end in August when their sponsorship contract expires.

Investec’s relationship with hockey has coincided with a hugely positive decade for the women’s game, with senior teams delivering significant on-field success, including England’s v2015 European Championship triumph and Great Britain’s Olympic gold medal at the Rio 2016 Games.

The game has reached new audiences with the development of the Investec London Cup and staging of major, global events notably the 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup, one of the biggest ever women’s sports events ever staged in Britain.

This success and exposure has been translated into a healthy increase in women and girls playing hockey, the latter having grown by 90 per cent since 2012, and significant increases in hockey’s fan-base with record crowds watching the FIH Hockey Pro League at The Twickenham Stoop in June 2019.

Investec’s commitment to women’s hockey has helped raise the profile of athletes, elevated the experience at events and enabled the sport to reach new audiences.

A statement said: “When the relationship began in 2011 it was pioneering and far-sighted to enter into a partnership with a women’s sport. This creativity, vision and courage has been rewarded and, a decade later and with progress to make, women’s sport is in a very different place in the national consciousness and mind-set of sponsors.”

Jennifer Whiteford, head of brand at Investec, added: “It has been a huge honour for Investec to be involved with such an incredible group of women at the elite level who are inspiring the next generation of hockey stars. The game and players have allowed us to deepen our relationships with our audiences and strengthened our brand.”

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Jon Cockcroft, commercial director of England Hockey, said: “We will look back on our relationship with great pride. Across all metrics the partnership has delivered for both Investec and hockey, and we have enjoyed so many great moments on and off the pitch.

“As we navigate through these difficult times, the importance of sport in terms of personal identity and social cohesion has been striking. We look forward to hockey resuming, the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and exploring future sponsorship opportunities with like-minded brands.”

Great Britain and England Hockey now begins its search for a successor to Investec, with the Tokyo Olympics delayed by a year.

“Hockey holds a unique position as the most equal gender team sport, played by all ages and across the world’s major markets,” added the statement.

“We are looking for new partners who embody our strong values of spirit and togetherness and wish to tell their story through the medium of a leading Olympic team sport.”