SBD/January 19, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

The Ultimate Warrior: Liverpool Officially Announces New Kit Deal With U.S. Company

Liverpool's Ian Ayre is flanked by Warriors' Richard Wright (l) and Ben Haworth
EPL club Liverpool Managing Dir Ian Ayre claims that the club "proved its standing as one of the 'biggest football brands in the world'" by confirming a $38.6M (all figures U.S.) annual kit deal with Warrior Sports, according to Mark Ogden of the London TELEGRAPH. Liverpool will receive $231.8M "over six years from Boston-based Warrior following the agreement, which sees Liverpool stand second only to Barcelona -- who have a [$40.6M] deal with Nike -- in the lucrative kit sponsorship market." Ayre has "hit back at claims by adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer that Liverpool’s absence from European competition has diminished the club’s appeal by pointing to the size of the Warrior deal as proof of the Anfield outfit’s global popularity." Although Manchester United is "expected to secure a world record" $927.3M-plus kit deal before their current $36.6M deal with Nike expires in '15, Liverpool’s success in "clinching such a lucrative deal with Warrior highlights the untapped commercial value" of the club (London TELEGRAPH, 1/19). In London, Oliver Butler notes the contract with Warrior "differs from the adidas deal in that it gives back control to Liverpool over all their merchandise not related to the team kit but Warrior has yet to build up a supply chain as big as that of the German company." German market research company PR Marketing indicated that Liverpool is the "fourth-biggest replica kit seller in football, behind United, Real Madrid and Barcelona." About 900,000 shirts are "sold annually and, in the adidas stable, only Real sell more jerseys." Liverpool's "defection has come as a huge blow to the manufacturer" (LONDON TIMES, 1/19).
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