Liverpool are set to land a Nike deal after winning a court case against New Balance.
New Balance’s £40m deal with The Reds expires on May 2020.
The Boston, Massachusetts based brand has sponsored the club for the past 7 years. They felt it was their right to appeal if they made a counter-bid of equal value to Liverpool FC.
But according to the Liverpool Echo, the Commercial Court in London dismissed New Balance’s appeal that Liverpool had an obligation to renew its contract with the brand.
Nike offered more advertising clout
The High Court judge Mr. Justice Nigel Teare ruled that New Balance could not match Nike’s proposal to use “global superstar athletes” such as Lebron James, Serena Williams, and Canadian rapper Drake to promote the team’s products.
Wrote the judge in his written statement:
“Mr. Chris Davis (New Balance vice president) said the exercise of measurement was “very subjective.”
“I am not sure what he meant by that because a calculation based upon social media exposure is based on appearances which can be counted. It may be that different people have different views as to the most relevant way in which such appearances can be valued by some of those methods used (for example ‘max add value’ or share of voice value) will have a repeatable methodology.
“I accept that the caliber of the named athletes can be measured in a number of ways but it would be unrealistic (and contrary to the evidence in this case) that their caliber can not be measured.
“I have therefore concluded that the New Balance offer on marketing was less favorable to Liverpool FC than the Nike offer because Liverpool FC cannot require New Balance, on the terms of its offer, to use global superstar athletes “of the caliber of LeBron James, Serena Williams and Drake”
“It must follow that Liverpool FC is not obliged to enter into a new agreement with New Balance upon the terms of the latter’s offer.”
The deal will see Liverpool earn royalties on 20 percent of all merchandise sales with further bonuses from Champions League and Premier League trophies.
According to a report in The Athletic, Liverpool hope to bring in £60-£70 million per year from the Nike sponsorship.
Here are some user-generated concepts of the what kit could look like: