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SAFC sign up tombola

It's a full house for Sunderland AFC as the club announces a city-based bingo website as its new sponsor.

Online gaming company tombola will become the Black Cats' official sponsor from next season.

The company, which has its headquarters in Sunderland, has signed a two-year deal with SAFC.

The partnership will see tombola's name emblazoned on Sunderland's new home and away shirts from next season and also at key sites throughout the Stadium of Light.

Bosses at the UK's biggest bingo site hope teaming up with Premier League football will reach a whole new audience.

Speaking about the announcement today, SAFC chairman Niall Quinn said: "We are thrilled to be joining forces with tombola at what is a really exciting time in our football club's journey."

"The company's headquarters are in Sunderland so they know exactly what the club and the city are all about and we are excited by the possibilities this partnership offers to us both."

Tombola was founded by Phil Cronin in 1999 after working in the family printing business, Edward Thompson in Sheepfolds , which has been established in the city for more than 140 years.

It now employs 130 people in Sunderland, sponsors TV soap Emmerdale and hands out more than 3 million in prize money every week.

Mr Cronin said: "Sponsoring Sunderland AFC is a fantastic opportunity

for tombola.

"With our own head office here in Sunderland we have been able to see the work that Niall and his team have done to transform the fortunes of the club.

"We're really looking forward to working with Sunderland and we're confident that this sponsorship will help us achieve our own ambitions."

Lesley Callaghan, Sunderland AFC marketing director, said: "Tombola will become our club sponsor for an initial two-year period and we are very much looking forward to forging a strong and positive partnership

with them.

"This is a very attractive deal for the club from a commercial perspective and in turn we are sure that by working together we can help tombola to realise their aims and ambitions for their company.

"As a company leading the way in their field, tombola is already a hugely successful organisation and we are sure that the partnership with this club will not only cement their position at the very top, but will also help to introduce the company to a much wider audience through the fantastic global reach of top flight football."