Liverpool are looking to strike a deal with Nike as they strive to raise their profile in China.
The Liverpool Echo report that Nike’s visibility there is what makes them so valuable to Liverpool, as the football club have not fully cracked the country. Their current kit supplier, New Balance, simply does not have the ability to compete.
The American sports brand’s reach is unparalleled, and even blows fellow giant Adidas out of the water. According to the Echo, Nike sales in China grew by 27% last year, which goes hand-in-hand with Liverpool‘s desires.
However, The Times have reported that the Nike deal on the table is only worth £30m per year, contrasting the current New Balance deal, which is worth £45m per year. It seems that Liverpool are desperate for brand awareness in China, and will take a pay cut to get what they want.
Stars like Serena Williams and musician Drake will be promoting the club through the Nike deal, and the Reds will be paid 20 per cent royalty on net sales of Liverpool products.
It appears that Liverpool have their heart set on Nike, despite New Balance doing everything in their power to keep the champions of Europe on their books. It does not seem as if they will suddenly break China, giving the Reds no other option.
New Balance have a matching clause in their contract, the Echo reports, which allows the sports-gear organisation to match the offer of Nike, but the opportunity for Liverpool to expand their brand is too good to pass up.
The offer from New Balance is purely financial, as they cannot offer the sports stars or global awareness of Nike, so it will be interesting to watch the deal unfold.
Premier League rights aside, kit suppliers earn the largest annual turnover for football clubs who have no desire to sell their prized assets. This comes at no surprise, given the offers on the table for Liverpool at the moment.
At the end of the day, all football fans want to see is a Liverpool kit that is easy on the eye, and iconic come the end of the season.