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26 February 2013, 12:14
Middlesbrough have signed a new five year deal with Ramsdens - making them the longest-running official sponsors in Boro's history.
Ramsdens, which is the UK's largest independent pawnbrokers, have signed a substantial seven-figure contract to extend their existing kit sponsorship deal.
The new contract means Boro's shirts will continue to sport the Ramsdens' name through to the end of the 2017-18 season.
Ramsdens began their existing Boro deal in March 2011 following an initial four-month spell as shirt sponsors from October 2010.
Ramsdens Executive Chairman Stewart Smith said:
"Like the Boro, Ramsdens is a proud Teesside success story and we're excited to extend our association with the football club through to 2018.
By then, we aim to have doubled the size of Ramsdens through ambitious expansion plans that will see us significantly increase our branch network across the UK.
Our existing sponsorship deal has not only helped to substantially raise the profile of Ramsdens and our wide range of financial services here on Teesside but has also gained more recognition for the Ramsdens brand in the many other areas in which we have branches, including Leeds, Sheffield and Cardiff.
With a Teesside chairman, Teesside manager and so many Teesside coaching staff and players, it's appropriate that the club's sponsors should remain an ambitious company with their roots firmly embedded here on Teesside."
Although their headquarters are in Middlesbrough, Ramsdens branches are located throughout the North-East of England and Yorkshire plus South Wales and Scotland, having increased in number from 39 in 2009 to their present total of more than 120.
In addition to being a pawnbroker and jewellers, Ramsdens are key players in the gold and silver-buying market, while other services include cheque-cashing, short-term loans and a commission-free foreign currency exchange as well as buying unwanted mobile phones.
Nationally, the company employ more than 500 staff, with plans to double in size over the next three to five years, opening a further 100 branches and creating another 400 jobs.
The company's 2011 turnover of £51m saw them ranked as the only North-East-headquartered company listed in The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 in recognition of an annual sales growth of 65% over a three-year period.