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SBD Global/June 28, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Sponsor Wonga Gives SPL Side Heart Of Midlothian A Cash Boost

Scottish Premier League side Heart of Midlothian received a "significant" payment from sponsor Wonga.com as it took a huge step toward survival, according to Barry Anderson of the SCOTSMAN. The digital finance company "has paid next season’s sponsorship money in full ahead of schedule to administrators BDO to help the ailing Edinburgh club." Added to players agreeing wage cuts, plus extra season ticket sales and fans’ rallying, the threat surrounding Hearts’ immediate future "has now reduced." Wonga’s gesture "provides vital funding to help BDO keep the club alive until the new season starts in August," by which time TV revenue and gate receipts "will generate more cash" (SCOTSMAN, 6/27).

FIVE-FIGURE SUM: The Scotland DAILY RECORD reported a source close to the club confirmed the amount was a "significant five-figure sum," with a number of installments, which "had been due to be paid before the company's three-year backing ends next summer, brought forward." Jambos officials -- which still need to raise £750,000 ($975,000) to keep the club afloat until the start of the new season -- "feared that news of the cash advance would see season-ticket sales ease off" with them less than halfway toward the 3,000 target they still need to sell. Manager Gary Locke said, "It's great that one of our main sponsors has shown they are willing to back the football club" (DAILY RECORD, 6/27).

SETTING A DEADLINE: The BBC's McLauchlin & Dewar reported the administrators of Hearts have issued a deadline of July 12 for formal offers for the club. BDO has "sent a sales memorandum to all parties who have already expressed an interest in buying the club." The document indicates that "negotiations are ongoing with the relevant parties in Lithuania" (BBC, 6/26).
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