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Liverpool FC set for Nike deal after court win


Liverpool FC has won a legal battle with its current kit supplier, New Balance.

The club was taken to court over an alleged refusal to honour its deal with the American sportswear manufacturer.

The contract is due to end next May, but under the contract, New Balance is entitled to renew it, providing it matches any competitor’s offer.

In this case, the competitor is Nike, which reportedly offered a £30m-a-year 5-year deal.

Liverpool FC argued in court that New Balance couldn’t match the marketing opportunities that Nike offered. This included leveraging Nike brand ambassadors, including Serena Williams and Lebron James to promote Liverpool products.

Nike also said it would sell licensed products in “not less than” 6000 stores around the world, 500 of which would be owned by the firm.

New Balance responded that it had 40k retailers globally and that the club was “wedded to Nike.”

Liverpool’s QC, Guy Morpuss said:

”The idea that New Balance would even get football kit into anything close to those 40,000 stores is utterly fanciful.”

The judge, Mr Justice Treare ruled in Liverpool’s favour, saying that the club “was not obliged” to enter into a new agreement with New Balance. He added that “the New Balance offer on marketing was less favourable to Liverpool FC than the Nike offer.”

New Balance said that it would appeal the ruling, with a spokesperson adding:

“We believe strongly that we matched the competing offer and would have delivered many more years of record-breaking kit sales.”

Liverpool signed the reported £300m deal with New Balance in February 2015.

It was the biggest kit deal in the club’s history and at the time, Richard Wright, General Manager of New Balance Football stated:

“The partnership represents an important step for New Balance launching into football and reflects the global growth ambitions of the brand.

“Over the course of the contract, New Balance will bring innovation and world-class product to Liverpool FC and its global fanbase.”

Nike had been the sponsor of Manchester City, before that moved over to Puma this season. It was also the kit sponsor of Manchester United, until 2015, when it decided to end its association with the club.

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