MIDDLESBOROUGH have announced a seven-figure shirt sponsorship deal with largest family-owned pawnbroker in the UK, Ramsdens, that will run until the summer of 2014.
The deal also includes Ramsdens' logo featuring on club shirts throughout March, April and May of this season plus the current four-month deal until the end of January.
Neil Bausor, Boro’s chief operating officer, said: “This is our most important sponsorship deal and is a significant boost in our quest to get the club heading back towards the Premier League as quickly as possible.
“The deal is very much an evolution from our groundbreaking monthly sponsorship approach, which has ultimately helped us secure a first-class partner for the next three-and-a-half years.
“We are delighted to have secured such an excellent partner in Ramsdens, who we have forged an outstanding working relationship with since they joined us as our third monthly shirt sponsors earlier this season.
“They are great people to work with and we are proud to be associated with a Teesside business that is enjoying great national success.
“We now have a Teesside chairman in Steve Gibson, a Teesside manager in Tony Mowbray and a Teesside sponsor in Ramsdens, with all three passionate about taking the club forward.”
Peter Kenyon, Ramsdens' chief executive, revealed that the increasing Teesside elements within the club - including the return of Tony Mowbray - led to the company deciding to strengthen its bond with the Boro.
Ramsdens, which has its head office and 10 of its 80 branches in the Tees region, is the largest family-owned pawnbroker in the UK.
The following comment posted on a Boro message board is indicative of general support for the deal;
'It's good news that the club has now got a permanent shirt sponsor and we should be grateful that someone has come up with the money, especially, in the current climate.
Pawbroker or not, I think it could work out well for both parties and I'm sure it's better for the club to sell replica shirts with a permanent sponsor's logo on the front. It's a shame the deal couldn't have been sorted out before the season started but as they say, better late than never...