SOUTHAMPTON business and IT solutions company aap3 have signed a three-year deal to become Saints' main sponsor.

The organisation's logo will appear on the club's new home and away kits from next season.

aap3 have their headquarters in Chilworth, but also have offices in London, California, France, Germany and Italy.

Rod Jackson, the president and CEO of aap3, explained the reasons behind his company's decision to sponsor Saints.

"Southampton Football Club is ambitious, well run and socially aware of its responsibilities as a football club and a corner stone of the community," he said.

"Ultimately, we strongly believe in the vision of where this club is heading, and felt that being involved with such a project was too good an opportunity to miss out on."

Saints chairman Nicola Cortese said: "Any sponsorship deal needs to represent good value to the club, but of equal importance are the principles of the company, which is why it gives me great pleasure to have secured this deal with aap3.

"Like us, they are an upwardly mobile company who strongly believe in their business ethics. They are a very successful global company with strong local roots, and a conscious understanding of the role they have to play in the local community.

"I am convinced that aap3 are that company and their commitment to the Club over the next three years will, I am sure, coincide with an exciting period for both of us."