New Balance’s Liverpool kit deal appeal rejected
The judgment, confirmed on the Ministry of Justice website, ends a dispute that had led to a three-day hearing as New Balance tried desperately to maintain a relationship with the current European champions and Premier League leaders that started in 2012.
Liverpool wanted to establish a partnership with Nike, having been offered an initial five-year deal worth UK£30 million (US$38.76 million) a season. Whilst that is actually considerably less than New Balance's current UK£45 million (US$58.15 million) annual payment, Nike is offering 20 per cent of royalties on net sales of all merchandise and access to high-profile athletes in its stable, such as LeBron James and Serena Williams, to help market the club.
New Balance wanted to maintain its relationship with Liverpool by activating a renewal clause in the current partnership contract giving the brand the right to match any offer from a competitor.
On 22nd October, judge Mr Justice Nigel Teare ruled during the High Court hearing that New Balance’s offer did not match Nike’s and dismissed the Boston-based brand’s right to appeal.
That led to New Balance writing directly to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal but that request has been dismissed, paving the way for Liverpool to sign a five-year contract with Nike from the start of the 2020/21 season.
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