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Homecoming Scottish Cup unveiled

Feature: A new sponsor for the Scottish Cup

The Scottish FA has announced a new two-year sponsorship deal for the Scottish Cup in partnership with Willie Haughey and the Scottish Government.

Former Celtic director Haughey will provide £1m each term, while branding rights go to Holyrood.

It will be called the Homecoming Scottish Cup to mark the drive to attract tourists in 2009, the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns's birth.

The name of the tournament will change for the 2009/2010 season.

SFA president George Peat said: "If we can use the magic of the cup to promote our country internationally and to encourage people to live better, healthier lives, then we will be doing something really special."

The trophy has been without a sponsor since brewer Tennent's ended their 18-year association in May last year in order to support the national team.

The Scottish Government, who will meet the costs of activating the rights to the tournament, will use the event to promote healthy living and citizenship through football messages.

Activation costs refer to the expenses associated with marketing opportunities such as the branding of pitch hoardings and perimeter boards, advertisements in programmes, website messaging, public relations costs to work with players and community engagement.

Businessman and philanthropist Haughey was a Celtic director between 1994 and 1997 and has previously invested in Livingston.

"The generosity of Willie Haughey has made The Scottish Cup a prize that every Scot, at home and abroad, and every friend of Scotland has a share in," said First Minister Alex Salmond.

"Four million people across 40 countries watched the Scottish Cup last year and this year they will all be invited to be a part of our Year of Homecoming.

"This funding will turn Scotland's premier domestic sporting cup competition into a cohesive celebration of national sporting success.

"What's more, this announcement gives the Scottish Government further opportunity to highlight the work of a new group that has been established in partnership with the SFA to promote citizenship through football.

"As well as continuing to tackle sectarianism, the new group will look at issues such as anti-social behaviour, alcohol and drug misuse, domestic abuse and violence."

The second-round games of this season's tournament will be played on 25 October.

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