The Jambos weren’t going to release images of the away top for the 2022/23 season, complete with new sponsors Stellar Omada, until next month. But earlier on Friday a picture was accidentally posted early by kitmakers Umbro and quickly circulated on social media before it could be removed. It featured Toby Sibbick, Craig Halkett and an unidentifiable third Hearts wearing wearing the top.
Hearts decided instead against ignoring the leak and decided to tackle the issue head on by releasing details later in the day.
Before the official launch, a video was posted from the club’s official Twitter account which shows activity on a computer screen. The unseen user finds the picture of the strip, which is white with small dark polka dots, before typing in a series of questions into Google.
These are ‘who is Stellar Omada?’, ‘are polka dots in style 2022?’ and ‘why is Craig Halkett so handsome?’. An image then appears with the words ‘22.23 away kit coming in July’ before July is then scored out and ‘today’ is written in its place.
Hearts said in their release: “Heart of Midlothian can today proudly present the striking new 22/23 Umbro away kit with Stellar Omada taking pride of place on the front of the jersey.
"Stellar Omada is one of Scotland’s fastest-growing and most exciting IT companies. Headquartered in Edinburgh and with revenues tripling in the first quarter of 2022, the company is a remarkable success story in Scotland’s burgeoning digital economy.
“Stellar Omada has been working with Hearts in the club’s innovation centre to provide free digital education to young people from communities which are currently not well represented in the tech sector. This vital work is giving the opportunities they need to develop their skills to succeed.
“Using the magnet of football and the broad reach of the club, Stellar Omada and Hearts are inspiring the next generation of talent drawn from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, gender, age and abilities.
“The Stellar Omada logo adorns the front of the stunning new 22/23 square polka dot jersey, which also features a stylized crew neckline and maroon cuffs.
“The brand-new away kit is available to pre-order now ahead of the early July on-sale date.”
Stellar Omada managing director Colin Frame added: “We recognise there is a skills shortage and, by working together, we can leverage Hearts' role in the community to inspire young people to work in IT. Our partnership with Hearts in the innovation centre at Tynecastle is proof that this strategy works. We're giving youngsters a chance to experience something they may otherwise miss out on.
“It makes sense for us to develop our relationship with Hearts further and shirt sponsorship was the next logical step, both organisations share values which have created a truly unique, and powerful partnership. We are grateful for the support we have had from Hearts in helping us achieve our growth objectives. I am excited about what will follow.”
Hearts’ home kit, which was unveiled last week, still retains the MND Scotland logo on the front of the strip.