Fiorentina, without a shirt sponsor since last summer, have signed a multi-million dollar deal with Japanese car manufacturer Mazda.
The Serie A soccer club had spent the second half of 2010 playing with Save The Children's logo in place of a sponsor following the expiration of its deal with Toyota. Mazda are reported to be paying some €4 million (US$5.2 million) per season, almost identical to the amount previously paid by Toyota. The deal will run until the end of the 2012/13 season.
"We are sure that we have met the right partner, a young team, dynamic and unconventional to which we feel close to," said Mazda's chief executive, Wojciech Halarewicz. "This partnership will enable us to reach a wide target potential customers to whom to propose the development of our current range of models."
"After the end of the relationship with the former sponsor we took our time to look for a good partner for the purple shirt," added Sandro Mencucci, the Fiorentina chief executive. "I'm convinced that the right blend of tradition and innovation, the competitive spirit and fair play that characterises Fiorentina, was crucial for the birth of this partnership."
Despite the deal with Mazda, Save The Children will also remain on the front of the club's shirts, with a small logo under kit manuafacturer Lotto's badge. Mencucci called that decision, "a tangible sign that, despite the importance of this agreement, the commitment of Fiorentina to support [Save The Children's] charitable activities will not diminish in any way. On the contrary, it is by partnerships of this calibre that our united action will find new directions."