Investec, the international bank and wealth management group, will not continue its sponsorship of England Hockey and Great Britain Hockey.

The firm came on board nine years ago as a sponsor of the Great Britain and England women’s international hockey teams but will not extend its backing beyond the expiry of the current contract in August.

No reason for the end of the deal has been given but it comes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

England Hockey said today (Tuesday) that Investec’s commitment to women’s hockey had “helped raise the profile of our athletes, elevated the experience at our events and enabled the sport to reach new audiences”.

The governing body added: “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.”

Jon Cockcroft, England Hockey’s commercial director, added: “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.”

The news leaves the women’s team searching for a new sponsor in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which have been pushed back by 12 months because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

In March 2018, England Hockey appointed Sport Collective, the UK-based agency, to support its domestic sponsorship strategy.

The appointment was made ahead of the launch of the Hockey Pro League.

Investec has also been the main sponsor of the Women’s Hockey League, Schools Championships for girls and Investec London Cup – an international invitational tournament.

The wealth management company signed a four-year sponsorship extension in 2016.

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