The adjournment of the current season amid the coronavirus outbreak means that various football associations and clubs need to derive a common solution to the obstacles that bar further proceedings of the current campaign.
Liverpool, who were en route to their first league title in 30 years, might have to forego the trophy given the growing number of Premier League clubs are reportedly pushing for the cancellation of the current league campaign.
However, if the FA decides to get the season completed somehow, Nike, which takes over the Reds’ kit sponsorship deal from June 1, 2020, will have to concede huge amounts of money attached to the images of Jurgen Klopp’s men lifting the Premier League trophy, to the current sponsors New Balance.
Nike and New Balance seemed to be locked in an interesting battle for attrition over which team kit would be used while lifting the trophy.
While earlier it seemed home and dry, with New Balance having a watertight contract till the end of the regular season, the coronavirus pandemic put proceedings out of gear.
The dispute between the two sporting goods manufacturers can be explained in very simple terms – New Balance’s current contract gives them exclusive rights as kit suppliers for Liverpool until the 31st of May, after which suppliers’ rights would be transferred to Nike.
However, with the league being shut down until further notice, this means there is a great likelihood of a few fixtures being played after the said date, where both contracts would be overlapping for a short period of time.
The two companies will most definitely find themselves at odds with each other in financial terms – Nike would like to maximize the potential of an expensive contract where it is paying out 70 Million pounds a year, while New Balance would stand to gain a lot of merchandising moolah from the Reds’ players lifting the trophy in its kit.
New Balance and Nike Settle Fight Over Liverpool’s Livery
It has now quite surprisingly emerged that Nike has given the green light to let New Balance provide the kits for the Reds’ coronation as Premier League champions.
With some fresh information trickling through from top-dog journalist for The Athletic, James Pearce, Nike are of the opinion that it’s ‘only right’ that New Balance be allowed the rights to clothe the eventual title winners.
This was further confirmed after Liverpool’s managing director and chief commercial officer held a round of talks with both clothing giants.
A general consensus emerged that there will not be a change of kits before the end of the season despite uncertainty over when the remainder of the fixtures will be held.
A rare win-win-win for all parties involved as – Liverpool can breathe a sigh of relief, without a stressful court battle on the cards; New Balance get a nice little parting gift, and Nike get to enjoy the moral high ground even while they conserve their revenue.