NOW: Pensions, a retirement fund manager run by Denmark’s largest pension fund ATP, signed a four-year deal to sponsor the England and Britain men’s field hockey teams.
The partnership with England Hockey ranges from grassroots children’s hockey to the men’s domestic league and national team level. Although both parties said the deal is the biggest ever in men’s hockey in England, no financial details were disclosed.
Hilleroed, Denmark-based ATP said in September 2011 it would enter the U.K. market by offering services through NOW: Pensions. The U.K. government in October introduced an automatic-enrollment pension policy that requires companies to offer a retirement plan with employees opting out rather than in.
“The ambition of our two organizations feels very similar as we continue to take advantage of the opportunity London 2012 has given us to grow the numbers playing and watching our sport,” said England Hockey Chief Executive Officer Sally Munday. “It’s a real fillip for both the elite and grassroots elements of the sport.”
The partnership comes 18 months after Investec Plc, a private bank and wealth manager with operations in South Africa, the U.K. and Australia, struck a five-year sponsorship deal with the England and Britain women’s field hockey teams.
Hockey is among the oldest Olympic sports, having made its first appearance at the 1908 London Games. The British men’s hockey team missed out on a medal at last year’s London Olympics after a 9-2 defeat to the Netherlands in the semifinals.
“Over the next four years the men’s program will be centralized to allow athletes access to more frequent quality training, which we feel is essential to ensure England and Great Britain advance on a world level,” England Hockey performance director Danny Kerry said.