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Nike, Adidas Battling To Sign Record Kit Deal With Liverpool

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Nike in particular are said to be in ‘advanced talks’ to offer a deal that will eclipse Man Utd’s as the most lucrative in Premier League history.

Liverpool FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The 2017-18 Liverpool home kit was the fastest and best-selling in club history. At least it was until the 2018-19 version—debuting with the weighty tagline “This Means More”—dropped and set the sales record again. It makes sense of course, with the charismatic Jürgen Klopp’s brand of entertaining heavy metal football having earned the Reds a new generation of admirers the world over via a thrilling run to last year’s Champions League final as well as a high-octane challenge for the league title this term,

Current kit maker, New Balance has benefited from the club’s return to global prominence, pumping out hit kit designs in recent years in particular. However, with their current £45m a year deal with LFC set to expire after next season, the Boston-based company has found itself in a battle with apparel giants, Nike and Adidas to be the logo on one of the hottest properties in world football going into the 2020-21 campaign.

It is a scrap that has the Liverpool ECHO reporting that Nike is in ‘advanced talks’ to offer the Reds the most lucrative kit deal ever this side of Barcelona, supplanting even the £75m a year British-record deal Adidas currently has with Manchester United.

Only the Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid currently earn more on kit deals than Liverpool’s domestic rivals, meaning that once the dust settles, the Reds will most likely sit third in world football in kit deal revenue.

In England, Arsenal currently earn £60m a year in their deal with Adidas, while Chelsea are pulling in the same amount but locked in over a longer contract period.

However, that the Liverpool deal is set to eclipse that signed by Manchester City’s £65m a year deal with Puma despite the winning defending champions having won the league title in three of the past seven seasons proves—admittedly in a tangential, slightly paradoxical way—that money can’t buy class or the love of millions worldwide.

Yes, who sells the most kits is mostly a vanity distinction. However, Liverpool owners, Fenway Sports Group have demonstrated that they are quick to reinvest earnings back into the club in the sorts of things supporters care about: earth-moving transfers, long-awaited stadium improvements and glittering facilities upgrades. Putting more ammo in FSG’s pocket in the form of a record kit deal is therefore something Reds supporters can only cheer.