The new global head of sales with the IHF, Ricky Thussu, centre, has extensive sports promotion experience, including with Manchester United  ©Twitter

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced the appointment of Ricky Thussu, a former official of Manchester United, as global head of sales.

He is due take up the new post at the FIH's headquarters in Lausanne next month.

Born in the Indian capital Delhi, Thussu is relocating from Manchester with a view to increasing investment in the sport, predominantly through key FIH events.

Up to now, he has been director of business development for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia for sports data company Sportradar. 

With a Bachelor’s degree in English literature, as well as a Master's in Business Administration, in brand management, he spent three years with his country's Merchant Navy before beginning his commercial career as an account manager for Cheil, the advertising agency for Samsung Electronics.  

His career continued in India, taking on the role of marketing manager at electronics giant Fujitsu and subsequently IBM before relocating to England in 2009 to join Manchester United. 

Ricky Thussu is joining the International Hockey Federation from sports data company Sportradar ©YouTube
Ricky Thussu is joining the International Hockey Federation from sports data company Sportradar ©YouTube

He worked there for three years as associate relationship director, where his responsibilities included account and strategy management, increasing mobile content and renewal and up-sell for the club’s partners.

He subsequently launched his own company, SportRicks UK, which focused on sponsorship sales, activations and strategy and included clients such as Ferrari Formula One, Juventus, Octagon and Manchester City Football Club. 

"To recruit someone of Ricky’s experience is a hugely significant appointment for the FIH," FIH chief executive Jason McCracken said.

"His market knowledge plus strong relationships with global brands will undoubtedly help us drive the commercial value of our sport as we move towards an important period for hockey. 

"With some massive events coming up including the Hockey World Cups, Champions Trophies and Hockey Pro League, he will be of great value to the Leadership Team here at FIH."

Joining Thussu in Switzerland in October is former vice-president of the German Hockey Federation Delf Ness, who was confirmed as FIH’s new marketing and communications director earlier this month.