MND Scotland will be shown on the front of the new Hearts home shirt for the 2021/22 season after a two-year agreement was made with Dell Technologies.
The news comes after the club’s successful six-year sponsorship agreement with Save the Children ended last month.
The new sponsorship deal is structured in a similar way, with Dell Technologies donating on behalf of MND Scotland and Hearts donating a percentage of each shirt sold to the charity.
The deal is seen as a tribute to the legendary Hearts captain Marius Žaliūkas, who lost his fight to the disease in October of last year. Žaliūkas played over 150 times for Hearts across six seasons, but he will be most fondly remembered for lifting the Scottish Cup in 2012, after beating their Edinburgh rivals Hibs.
A club spokesman said: “This landmark sponsorship deal will help to raise awareness of the work undertaken by MND charities throughout the UK and support those living with MND in Scotland. Funds raised will also enable pioneering research into MND, such as the projects taking place at the Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research at University of Edinburgh. Once again, the Club has sought out an innovative way of securing sponsorship funding whilst providing a platform for a cause that is dear to supporters’ hearts.
“In a pioneering approach, Dell Technologies will work with Hearts over the next 2 years on a programme that will transform the Club’s digital estate in the long term. As part of this new partnership, Dell Technologies funded the front of the home shirt on behalf of MND Scotland. Hearts will, in turn, make a contribution to MND Scotland and MND Association for every home shirt sold in the season ahead.”
Iain McWhirter, MND Scotland’s Interim Chief Executive, said: “We are very excited to be partnering with Heart of Midlothian FC this season. This fantastic opportunity will honour the memory of former captain Marius Žaliūkas who passed away last year after a brave struggle against motor neurone disease.
“Dell Technologies has supported our sister charity, MND Association of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, for 2 years, and we are thrilled to now be working with them to raise funds and awareness here in Scotland.
“We hope this boost will enable us to speak to even more people about our cause, and that the funds donated through sales will help us reach our ultimate goal of finding a cure. Until that day we will continue supporting families affected by MND in Scotland, so they do not have to go through the devastation alone.
“We’re really looking forward to seeing the new strips out on the pitch very soon and hope fans will join our movement to end MND.”