sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9/sitemap.xsd BrandArena: Liverpool wins High Court case against New Balance, set for Nike kit deal

Friday, 25 October 2019

Liverpool wins High Court case against New Balance, set for Nike kit deal

English Premier League Club, Liverpool FC has won its court battle against sportswear brand New Balance, its current Official Kit Supplier.

New Balance sued the club after it emerged it was likely to be replaced by Nike upon the expiry of its deal with Liverpool, which runs until the end of the 2019-20 season. The brand claimed the club was refusing to honour a renewal clause that meant the pair’s agreement should be extended.

Mr Justice Teare, the judge at the High Court in London, cited the status of rival brand Nike’s associated athletes and influencers as a key factor in his judgment that New Balance could not match the terms of Liverpool’s proposed deal with Nike.

The Boston-based company argued it could match the terms Nike were offering.

However, the judge said: “I have concluded that the New Balance offer on marketing was less favourable 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 calibre 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.”

New Balance have since issued a statement to express their disappointment.

"We’re disappointed that we’re not able to continue our successful sponsorship of the Liverpool Football Club," read a New Balance statement.

"We know that fans value the unique and innovative kits we design and deliver that reflect the club’s heritage and recognise their past and recent triumphs. We believe strongly that we matched the competing offer and would have delivered many more years of record-breaking kit sales. We’re looking forward to seeing LFC continue to win this season wearing their New Balance kit.

"New Balance is committed to bringing our expertise, passion, and innovation to the beautiful game and will continue to build on our own success on and off the pitch."

The Champions League champion are expected to agree a five-season deal with Nike, which will pay a reported about £30m (€34.6/$38.5m) a year for the contract. This is a relatively low sum for a top-tier kit deal, but Liverpool is thought to be attracted by Nike’s marketing and distribution push.

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