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GARMIN will be the new name on the shirts of Middlesbrough FC when the 2007-08 season kicks off after Boro signed their biggest ever sponsorship deal with the world leader in satellite navigation equipment.

Boro have signed an initial one-year deal with Garmin for an undisclosed seven-figure sum but negotiations are already underway to extend the club's principal sponsorship for a further year.

Middlesbrough FC and Garmin announced the deal to dozens of assembled media ahead of today's Rockliffe Park news conference to officially unveil Turkey international Tuncay Sanli.

Emanuel Pogatetz -  Photo by Blades

Graham Fordy, MFC's Head of Commercial, said: "We are delighted to have signed a prestigious sponsorship deal with a hi-tech company such as Garmin.

"There will be on and off-the-pitch benefits to working with Garmin and we look forward to forging a close relationship.

"Their sponsorship will help Middlesbrough FC continue to compete at the very highest level of English football and build on an era that has made us the fifth most successful club in English football over the last 12 years.

 

"In return, Garmin will get the sort of coverage only sponsorship of a Barclays Premier League club can provide. It's a great partnership both on and off the pitch that we are confident will go from strength to strength."

Mr Fordy explained that the club had turned down several sponsorship offers from other companies before shaking hands on a deal with Garmin.

"We understand the frustration of our supporters in the wait to announce our new sponsorship because it has had the knock-on effect of delaying the launch of our new shirts," he said.

"However, we were determined to get a deal that was right for Middlesbrough Football Club. As a consequence, we had turned down several sponsorship offers, as we did not feel they reflected our true value. In fact, our previous sponsors, 888.com, were keen to continue for a further season.

"Garmin quickly agreed an acceptable deal that we hope both parties can build on in the months and years ahead."

Mr Fordy added that the club aimed to launch the club's new-look home and away shirts in mid-August. Both will sport the words Garmin sat-nav on their chests.