Liverpool is in a legal dispute with shirt sponsor New Balance because they have failed to find a common voice in renewing the contract.
In June 2020, the agreement to sponsor a £45 million/season jersey between New Balance and Liverpool will officially expire. The Liverpool leadership feels that it is time for them to find a new partner with a more valuable deal as the club’s stock has increased significantly in two successful seasons under the guidance of coach Juergen Klopp.
Since Christmas last year, Liverpool began meeting with representatives of many famous sports fashion brands such as Nike, Adidas or Puma. Nike is finally the partner chosen by Liverpool. The two sides have reached an agreement worth up to £ 80 million/year. If officially signed, Liverpool will pass the agreement between MU and Adidas (£ 75 million/year) to become the club with the most valuable Premier League shirt sponsorship contract.
The Kop announced this to New Balance. However, New Balance did not approve. A fashion house based in Boston, Massachusetts is struggling to retain its contract with Liverpool. New Balance announced it was willing to pay Nike on par with Liverpool to sign a new deal and the contract signed earlier had a priority clause that they continued to sponsor The Kop.
However, Liverpool does not want to sign with New Balance because that supplier’s global distribution network is not comparable with Nike. Liverpool wants to take advantage of the existing success and understand Nike’s stature will help them a lot in key markets around the world.
On 10/10, New Balance decided to take Liverpool to the London Supreme Court to be able to extend the partnership. The company’s notice states:
“New Balance is proud to be the official sponsor of Liverpool. Since 2011, we have broken the club’s shirt sponsorship record and we believe we are in line with Liverpool’s ambitions and achievements as the club grows stronger in stature. As a long-term and dedicated sponsor, we want to continue working with Liverpool and extend the agreement by 2020. Our draft extension contract is in full agreement with Nike’s proposal for Liverpool.
As part of the contract renewal process, Liverpool has raised the questionable elements for the agreement, so we are asking the court to explain this case clearly. Both we and Liverpool want to get things done as quickly as possible so we totally agree with the court process”.
A Liverpool spokesman confirmed this: “Liverpool confirmed our costume supplier, New Balance, has started a legal dispute with the club. We do not want to comment further on this proceeding”.