Liverpool will soon be in the high court against New Balance in an attempt to leave the kit manufacturer for a potentially monumental deal with Nike.
New Balance’s current deal with Liverpool expires at the end of this season, but they believe they have a ‘matching clause’ – which allows them to continue the arrangement should they offer the same terms as any potential new partner…
They believe they have matched Nike’s offer – but the high court will decide.
Echo journalist Paul Gorst spoke to sports marketing expert Tim Crow, who gave us the lowdown on the current situation.
“The court’s decision is very simple,” he continued. “The New Balance matching right, is it something they can enforce? The court will either say New Balance have the right to match it and continue on automatically or they don’t and really it is as simple as that.”
Nike have a much bigger commercial draw than New Balance and the ability to crack Asian markets. Plus, they’re backed by the world’s leading superstars, such as LeBron James and Serena Williams.
So Liverpool’s argument is that despite a yearly figure being ‘matched,’ New Balance cannot realistically offer the same partnership as Nike.
Crow has expanded on this idea, suggesting Liverpool’s hierarchy want to become a lifestyle brand – rather than just a renowned football one.
“I think what will certainly be a big motivation and I think you could see this in respect of the club trying to trademark the word ‘Liverpool’ is that they want to turn it into a lifestyle brand,” adds Crow.
“They clearly want to make it about more than the kit and training, they want to use it to turn Liverpool into a lifestyle brand in the same way that you see New York everywhere because Liverpool, as a city, has connotations that most others just don’t have.
“That is no doubt a big discussion in their talks with Nike and whoever else. It will be a big factor in what the club are trying to do.”
At the moment, Liverpool are the European champions and eight points clear at the top of the Premier League – so it seems like a perfect time to secure a gargantuan commercial deal which will propel us into the next decade.
With Jurgen Klopp at our helm, brand Liverpool has never been bigger or better – so we just hope whatever happens – Liverpool are in the kind of financial position where we can both keep and secure the world’s best talent.