English soccer side Sheffield Wednesday have signed a shirt sponsorship deal with Azerbaijan’s tourism board.
The new agreement comes with the club currently the subject of an ongoing takeover by Azerbaijani businessman Hafiz Mammadov, who reached an agreement with Owls chairman Milan Mandaric last month worth a reported €50 million (US$67.7 million).
Financial terms of the shirt sponsorship agreement, which covers the coming 2014/15 Championship season, have not been released but a statement from the club said it was ‘financially significant’.
The club also insisted the deal is ‘independent’ of Mammadov’s ongoing takeover, which remains subject to ratification by the Football League and is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.
As part of the deal the Owls will sport the ‘Azerbaijan Land of Fire’ logo on the front of their home and away shirts, following in the footsteps of Spanish La Liga champions Atletico Madrid and French Ligue 1 side RC Lens, who are also owned by Mammadov.
“This is a very proud day for myself and my country,” said Mammadov. “To marry ‘Azerbaijan Land of Fire’ to a club with the history and heritage of Sheffield Wednesday in English football is the perfect match.”
Sheffield Wednesday finished 16th in last season’s Championship, the second tier of English soccer. Their new home strip featuring the new branding was set to be officially unveiled later on Friday.