The National Programme Umpiring Association (NPUA) is seeking a sponsor to support the development and performance of national level hockey umpiring in England.

Our sport

Hockey is amongst the most popular sports in the world, with global viewer numbers third only to football and cricket. The sport is fast, dynamic and extremely skilful, with both genders having equal representation around the globe. Hockey continues to evolve its rules to simplify the game and enhance the spectator experience. FIH is the global governing body.

Hockey is the most watched sport at the Olympic games, with the reach of the game growing exponentially since Great Britain’s women’s team won the Olympic gold medal in Rio. That final had a television audience of 9 million people in the UK alone, and even delayed the BBC ten o’clock news! The England men’s team are current European bronze medallists and will be competing in the World Cup in India in December 2018. Success always leads to an uplift in national coverage of the sport, and the 2018 Women’s World Cup was hosted in London, with sell out crowds of 11,000 people. England Hockey is the national governing body.

Our organisation

NPUA is the National Programme Umpiring Association, an organisation of volunteers responsible for the officiating of national level hockey in England. We appoint umpires, assessors and coaches to all national level hockey, and many of our members represent England internationally, including at major tournaments such as the Olympics and the World Cup.

Our mission statement is to be the most admired hockey umpiring association in the world.

The members of our Executive Committee are elected volunteers and in turn appoint our selection committee. We receive funding from England Hockey to cover the travel expenses of our members at national appointments as well as a small amount of development funding, however we require additional sponsorship to fund additional development initiatives and technological advances, in order to thrive in an elite performance environment.

Our reach

The umpires are a frequent focal point at moments of tension and drama in our game, often in the firing line, and regularly on camera! We will offer significant exposure for a sponsor:

At hockey matches and tournaments

We cover each of the 40 England Hockey League matches across England and Wales each weekend, covering Men’s and Women’s Premier Leagues and 6 Conference leagues, with premier league matches regularly attracting crowds of several hundred people. Last season our members completed 2,410 domestic appointments and 54 international appointments.

We also officiate at all national Indoor hockey leagues and tournaments, including the Playoff finals at The Copper Box, Olympic Park which attracts a crowd of over 5,000 people.

Media and Television

The indoor and outdoor playoff finals are often televised, recently by Sky Sports, BT Sport and BBC red button. Online streaming of matches is growing fast, with a number of national league matches streamed live online and accessible around the world. Our members are some of the most active hockey stakeholders on social media, promoting our role within the game. Our members are often involved in high profile international tournaments including Olympics and World Cups, which generates additional attention.

NPUA Conference

Each year over 120 of our members gather along with international speakers from the hockey and wider sporting community to learn, celebrate success and develop. Recent guest speakers include Howard Webb, 2010 FIFA Football World Cup final referee, Henrik Ehlers, Chairman of the FIH Officials Committee, and Laurine Delforge, who umpired the hockey final at the 2016 Olympic Games.

NPUA Website and Social media

As well as our website, we have a growing Instagram, Facebook and Twitter presence. Some of the educational clips we have shared on social media have had over 100,000 views. We have also developed an online video portal exclusively for our members, to aid their personal learning and development.

Our offer

We are looking for a partner that will share our values of performance, equality, development and mutual support; who can help us further develop our aims through providing an amount of funding.

We are requesting support of £15,000 per year.

  • Improving our image – we would initially use this investment to provide our members with new umpiring shirts which would include your logo on the front. Our umpires are often captured in TV coverage and photos displayed online and on social media.
  • Revamping our website – to better integrate operational functionality, video and online learning resources and social media. We believe that enhancing our web presence will increase traffic levels as the site becomes a resource for umpire development across the globe. Your logo and a link to your website would be on every page.
  • Enhancing our recruitment – particularly focusing on getting more women to take up umpiring. Internationally there is a shortage of female umpires, and we want to look at supporting fast track opportunities for women.
  • Supporting our membership – from time to time our elite members need support to make the next steps in their development. This is targeted individual support and mainly in areas such as nutrition, psychology or preparing for an overseas tournament in an unusual climate
  • Developing our talent – to help umpires learn the nuances of our game, and expand their range of tools. This is often through online video resources produced with our partners, or through working with elite level umpires at eventsIf you are interested in supporting our Association, we would welcome the opportunity to have a more detailed conversation, or to answer any questions you may have.