25 April 2011

Weekend of the Warrior

What a weekend. A good, long one. But, all good things must come to an end and as I write this, there's depressingly less than 12 hours to go before I'm meant to be at work, either running around on an errand for a client or looking at a computer screen trying to decipher the work of some trainee who seems incapable of getting the correct answer to one plus one without the help of a calculator.

The guys over Adidas must be feeling the same way too. Although they have a bit more than 12 hours left, in jersey sponsorship terms I presume it must feel like less than that. Yes, Saturday's 5-0 thumping of Birmingham was good news but amongst the refreshing news that Maxi had scored a hat-trick (with Joe Cole popping in one as well) the Beeb managed to sneak in another surprising piece of information in its match report: from the 2012/2013 season onwards, Liverpool will no longer be kitted out by the German sportswear giant.

Apparently, Warrior Sports have agreed to pay GBP25m a season (GBP1.5m more than what Nike are currently paying to United and more than double the GBP12m Adidas are currently paying Liverpool) for the honour of outfitting Liverpool from then on. The deal with the New Balance subsidiary (who are in turn, probably owned by at least one of the FSG owners - this being consistent with the owners' theme of keeping things in-house) will at the very least squeeze as much as the club can from its sponsors. It doesn't take a genius to come to the conclusion  that Warrior will definitely get more than their investment's worth as they force their way into the global football market. And, what a way to enter the market - Liverpool are reportedly fourth place in terms of shirt sales worldwide (behind Real Madrid, Barcelona and United). Certainly a big jump from selling lacrosse and ice hockey gear Stateside. Hopefully, the company are up to it and don't make a balls of their chance.

Of course, I don't really care whether the company's investment earns them a decent return. All I want is that they throw their best designers at creating a Liverpool shirt that every fan can be proud to wear. Can't wait till April/May 2012 now (or at least until some Photoshop know-it-all attempts a Warrior jersey mock-up and shares it online in the very near-future).

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