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Fictional Succession-inspired Hearts takeover made real by HBO and Now TV

Hearts’s shirts have been sponsored by fictional company Waystar Royco

Streaming providers HBO Now and Now have teamed up to make a Succession-inspired takeover of Heart of Midlothian Football Club a reality.

To mark the debut of the third season of the hit comedy-drama, the WarnerMedia and Sky-owned subscription platforms have roped in the Tynecastle-based club to play along with its on-screen buy-out by modeling its newly-minted playing shirts from a rebranded dugout.

Believed to be the first instance of a professional club being sponsored by a fictitious company, the unlikely partnership was born of a comedic season two plotline in which Roman Roy, played by Kieran Culkin, ill-advisedly purchases the Edinburgh club to ingratiate himself with his father (played by irascible Dundonian Brian Cox), only to belatedly learn that he is a fan of arch-rivals Hibernian.

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson said: “We were so excited as a club to feature in one of the main storylines of one the biggest TV shows on the planet and we’re thrilled to be working with Now to help launch this partnership celebrating season three of the show.

“Just like the Roy children in Succession, we’re a club battling for the one place at the very top. Unlike the Roys though, we know we can only get there by working together.”

Jamie Schwartz, director of brand, marketing and merchandising at Now, added: “We want as many people as possible to enjoy amazing, critically-acclaimed shows like Succession on Now and this partnership with Hearts is a great way of celebrating the show in a way that fans will love and that also raises awareness of this must-watch content among a completely new audience.”

Fans of the transatlantic dysfunction of Waystar Royco, the fractious media conglomerate at the heart of the show, will have the chance to claim one of just 100 limited-edition shirts to mark the occasion and view the latest season in style by registering on Now’s Instagram page.

The fictional partnership briefly displaced Hearts’s actual shirt sponsors, which currently include the charity Motor Neurone Disease Scotland and sleeve partners Pawprint, an ecotech business.

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