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Deal hailed for community spirit

Hearts becomes first UK club to have charity as shirt sponsor

Ann BudgeHearts have become the first football club in the UK to sign a shirt sponsorship deal with a charity. The Tynecastle club announced a seven-figure three-year deal this morning. It will be funded from undisclosed benefactors who will make a separate donation to the charity.

Club chairman and chief executive Ann Budge said it would complement its charitable arm, the Big Hearts Trust. It also helps to bolster the club’s finances following its rescue.

Ms Budge said: “The benefactors are wholly supportive of the way in which the club is being rebuilt and of the values that underpin its activities.

“As the team is restored to its rightful place in the SPFL, we can use the magical formula of football to enhance the lives of children and families in the community.

“It’s a perfect match.”

The Save the Children logo will appear on the team’s shirts from next season.

Neil Mathers, Save the Children’s Head of Scotland, said: “To have Save the Children’s name on Heart of Midlothian FC football shirts is an absolute honour – and a perfect match for our charity.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for Save the Children and will allow us to reach many more children across Edinburgh, helping them to get the best start in life and achieve their potential.”

Ann Park, head of commercial operations at Hearts, said: “The decision to donate money in this way has been inspired by the ethos of community that the new regime at Tynecastle has been working so hard to build and which is now deeply embedded in the club and, of course, by the work undertaken by Save the Children.

“This is an outstanding act of philanthropy that provides the equivalent commercial benefits to the club for naming rights on the shirt and supports the work of Save the Children in the Edinburgh community.”

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