It was this week announced that Liverpool F.C. have signed a new merchandising deal that will see New Balance as their kit supplier for the 2015/16 season onwards. As current supplier Warrior is a subsidiary of the sportswear giant, the news may not come as much surprise or intrigue to many… until the figure of £300million, the potential amount the deal could be worth, is brought into play.
The parent company of Warrior will be the manufacturer behind both the training and playing kits, with the yearly contract being worth in excess of £25million. With 500 stores worldwide, the annual income of £25million for the reds is just the base of what the deal means to the club and it’s brand, with L.F.C. merchandise to now find itself a product of many new outlets; especially in the U.S. where sports brands are as part of the fabric of popular culture as they are a billion dollar industry.
See, since the club’s takeover by Fenway Sports Group in 2010, Liverpool’s global brand value has more than doubled to it’s current value of $469million. Boston-based just like New Balance, FSG were founded upon the purchase of the Boston Red Sox, a Major League Baseball team with a worth of $1.5billion and a name that could be recognised anywhere on Earth. The connection between the two sports giants has undoubtedly helped drive the value of L.F.C.’s global brand upwards without even mentioning what else is within John W. Henry and FSG’s business ventures; take the likes of New England Sports Network, the regions most-watched sports network who have recently in ever-so-mysterious circumstances took to the broadcast of Premier League games… as long as those games are played by Liverpool.
The widely-respected newspaper that is The Boston Globe is also a possession of John W. Henry, along with Fenway Sports Management. The glorified marketing agency deals in sponsorship and brand management, and since it’s 2004 inception the company can be credited with the emergence of some of the most prestigious sports brands of the last 10 years; Liverpool F.C. and the Boston Red Sox being just two of their multiple assets. For Liverpool this has led to deals with Warrior, Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, Gatorade and even the Barbados Tourism Authority. The impact of FSM on Liverpool’s global branding has been unprecedented, as it is with other clients such as LeBron James, arguably the most renowned basketball star in the world right now who funnily enough, is a Liverpool investor.
Despite all this, the sort of money the reds could make specifically with New Balance is vital when thinking of the summer transfer market. On top of the £25million a year the principle deal brings to the club, the sponsorship is expected to spur an unprecedented surge of revenue that will certainly help Liverpool’s prospects when it comes to taking on the financial giants that are Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea in attracting world-class talent to Anfield; something the club will be expected to achieve this summer with such an influential brand to uphold.