HEARTS have signed a new kit manufacturing deal with Puma starting this summer.
The German-based sportswear company replace Adidas in a sponsorship agreement which is worth a sizeable amount to the Edinburgh club.
Puma will take over from Adidas at the end of this season and launch a new range of match and training kit ahead of Hearts’ anticipated return to the Scottish Premiership.
Hearts confirmed in a statement earlier this week that their partnership with Adidas was at an end after three years.
Welcoming the deal, Heart of Midlothian FC owner Ann Budge told the official Hearts website: “PUMA is a globally-recognised brand and we are delighted to be working with them as we move forward into another exciting phase for the football club.
“As well as supplying our official playing kit and training wear, the deal will also see an extensive range of quality merchandise available to fans, which will ensure we look the part both on and off the field.
“I am particularly pleased that we have been able to extend our range of offerings to meet the needs of our lady supporters…something I have received quite a few emails about!
“PUMA has also been very supportive with regard to meeting the requirements of our somewhat unusual third kit for next season; the fan tribute strip which will feature the names of some 8000 pledgers to the Foundation of Hearts.
“We look forward to seeing that grace the Tynecastle turf in season 2015-16.”
Ruth How, Head of Marketing UKIB, said: “We are very happy to become the official kit and training wear provider for Heart of Midlothian Football Club.
“It is a great club with a magnificent history.
“Heart of Midlothian FC, the oldest football club in the Scottish capital, having formed in 1874, has forged a tremendous relationship with the fans and local community and we are delighted to be part of that.
“These attributes make them a great addition to our UK football portfolio.”
This season’s commemorative strip in honour of McCrae’s Battalion sold record numbers and is already regarded as a classic with supporters.
However, Tynecastle officials are now ready to go in a different direction. Puma already produce kit for major European clubs including Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and the Italian national team, and will now add their famous cat-style logo to Hearts’ traditional maroon shirt.
Commenting on the end of the Adidas partnership, club owner Ann Budge told the Hearts website: “The 2014-15 shirt has been one of the most iconic and successful shirts of recent years. Dedicated to the memory of McCrae’s Battalion, it has provided a fitting tribute to those who fought in the Great War.
“We would like to thank Adidas for their support, particularly during the past 12 months in one of the most momentous years in the club’s history.”
Adidas UK clubs senior manager James Osborne said: “Adidas have been partners of Hearts for three years and are immensely proud of that association and everything that was achieved by the club during that time.
“With the club on the verge of a return to the Scottish Premiership, we wish everyone associated with Hearts all the best for the future.”