HEARTS have extended their shirt sponsorship deal with Wonga for a further 12 months. The online loans company’s logo will continue to adorn their jerseys until the end of the 2013/14 season, offering guaranteed income as the club aims to become self-sufficient.
Wonga became Hearts’ principal sponsor in 2011, replacing Ukio Bankas, and their original two-year agreement had been due to end this summer. The extension was welcomed today by both parties. The sponsorship is thought to be worth a seven-figure annual sum to the Tynecastle club.
Hearts’ commercial director, Vitalijus Vasiliauskas, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Wonga is continuing to give such strong support to Heart of Midlothian Football Club and Scottish football for the remainder of this and next season. The partnership has been a great success. Wonga has been the most engaged and involved sponsor the club has had and I’m sure supporters have seen that with the amount of fan initiatives taking place over the past two seasons.
“This was again demonstrated by the various Wonga initiatives at the recent Scottish Communities League Cup final, including the creation of a giant Hearts shirt for fans. We look forward to working with them for the rest of this season and again in 2013/14.”
Darryl Bowman, Wonga’s marketing director, said: “It’s been brilliant to work with the club and the fans over the past two years. We’re really looking forward to continuing to support Hearts next season as they embark on new adventures in the Scottish Premier League and cup competitions.
“We’ll also continue to work closely with the club and its supporters to enhance fans’ match-day experiences.”
Meanwhile, Hearts supporters groups held a productive meeting at Tynecastle on Tuesday evening as they aim to agree on a model for fan ownership at the club.
The Federation of Hearts Supporters’ Clubs, Foundation of Hearts, the Heart of Midlothian Shareholders Association, the Hearts Supporters Trust, Hearts Youth Development Committee, Save our Hearts, and 1874 Fighting Fund were all represented at the meeting.
A statement released on
behalf of all concerned read: “The group will continue to
engage in a constructive manner with further meetings planned. The group is
committed to a unilateral
proposal which engages all supporters.”