The Night Hockey League (NHL) has not yet renegotiated its sponsorship agreement with Ugra Bank, Igor Bakhmutov, general director of the league, told TASS. According to him, the bank’s problems will not affect the league’s financial position. “Ugra”, as explained by Bakhmutov, financed certain events in the league, which are not paramount. “All major projects of the league will be preserved,” he stressed. The old agreement with the bank expired in May 2017, a new one was supposed to be signed for the season, but so far it has not been worked out, Bakhmutov added. Bank “Yugra” is no longer listed among the sponsors of the league on its website.
The Night Hockey League is an amateur sporting event; they have been held since December 15, 2011 at the initiative of President Vladimir Putin and veterans of Russian hockey, according to the league’s website. The last time Putin played in the NHL as part of the Hockey Legends team was in May 2017, along with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Tula Region Governor Alexei Dyumin. Then the president scored six goals against the rival – the Night League Stars team, for which Gennady Timchenko, Arkady Rotenberg, the Governor of the Moscow Region Andrei Vorobyov, the president of Norilsk Nickel Vladimir Potanin and others played.
Ugra has been a sponsor of the NHL since 2013. Today, on July 10, the Central Bank introduced a temporary administration in Ugra and imposed a moratorium on satisfying the claims of the bank’s creditors due to its unstable financial position. As of June 1, Yugra attracted 181.3 billion rubles. funds of the population. “If the bank resolves the issues, we can meet and discuss issues for further cooperation,” Bakhmutov said.
The financing of the current sponsors for the successful functioning and development of the league is now fully sufficient, its representative noted: the pool of general partners of the NHL has been formed. What happened to Ugra will not affect the league’s activities in any way, he stressed. NHL sponsors remain Norilsk Nickel, Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port Group, Soyuzflot Port, Vostok Coal Management Company, according to the league’s official website. Norilsk Nickel will fulfill all its obligations to finance the Night Hockey League, a company spokesman said (quoted by Interfax). Additional funding, he said, is within the purview of the NHL Board of Trustees.
How much the company pays for sponsorship of the NHL, the representative of the latter did not disclose. When asked if the NHL is looking for new sponsors, he could not answer. NHL board member Sergei Babinov told Interfax that cooperation with new sponsors for the league has not yet been discussed, but noted that “there will be another partner [вместо «Югры»]».