Hibs unveil three-year deal with Crabbie's

Hibs today uncorked a lucrative three-year sponsorship deal with historic Leith company Crabbie's.

The name of the firm – renowned the world over for their green ginger wine – will adorn not only the front of the jerseys worn by Colin Calderwood's players but those of the club's Under-19 side and Hibernian Ladies. Founded in Leith in 1801, Crabbie's are now part of Halewood International and have diversified into both alcoholic and non-alcoholic ginger beer among other products.

In an unique move, their name will be promoted in two different ways, the name Crabbie's to be displayed on the shirts worn by Hibs teams in the SPL while the John Crabbie's moniker, to reflect the non-alcoholic wing of the company, will be sported by the Under-19s and Ladies' teams.

And it will be that name which will feature on the front of all junior replica jerseys sold by the Easter Road outfit.

Today, Fife Hyland, Hibs' director of communication and marketing, described the move as a coup for the Edinburgh club, describing Crabbie's as "a global brand with an anchor in Leith."

Hyland was particularly delighted to clinch such a lucrative and lengthy deal, which has been negotiated over the past few months, in the face of the current economic climate.

While unwilling to reveal the exact financial benefit to Hibs, Hyland insisted it was a "significant" increase on previous deals, partly reflecting the fact it encompasses sponsorship of the Under-19 and Ladies' sides.

It is understood that while Hibs will be guaranteed a basic payment each year there will, as is common with such contracts, be bonus payments dependent on performance while there is also scope for an extension should both parties agree.

Hyland said: "To clinch such a deal in the current financial climate with such a prestigious brand is fantastic. It brings together two famous Leith brands, one which recognises the heritage of both Crabbie's and Hibernian Football Club.

"Crabbie's are very ambitious, a local brand operating in a global market and this association with Hibernian gives them a platform to promote that brand.

"We started speaking to them at the end of last year and we've worked very hard to complete a deal with which both ourselves and Crabbie's are delighted.

Crabbie's will replace another local company McEwan Fraser as Hibs main sponsor, but the specialist property firm will, according to Hyland, remain a backer of the club.

He said: "We've had a good relationship with them and we are discussing what their future involvement will be."

The Crabbie's announcement follows a string of earlier sponsorship deals covering a number of different aspects, Hyland revealing: "We've seen a 28 per cent increase, year-on-year, which in the face of a recession is brilliant news.

Meanwhile, Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston has revealed Hibs are on the trail of Rugby Park star Jamie Hamill.

The 24-year-old, who can operate both in midfield and at right back, is out-of-contract at the end of this season and Johnston said: "We have received an approach from Hibs to say they would like to speak to Jamie over a possible contract for next season."

However, Killie have offered Hamill, who has scored ten goals this season, mainly from the penalty spot, a three-year deal and are hopeful of convincing him to stay.