Exploring the Branded Partnership Between Liverpool FC and Nike


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Why the Right Brand Partnership Can Benefit Both Athletic Brands and Sports Teams

Athletic brands and sports teams have a natural synergy that can lead to successful partnerships. While athletes wear the gear on the field or court, fans also wear it to support their favorite team and players.

However, not all brand-team partnerships are created equal. How both parties market the partnership is crucial to drive popularity and sales success. In this blog post, we'll explore a case study where an athletic brand partnered with a sports team to achieve massive global increases in sales revenue.

Blog - Why the Right Brand Partnership Can Benefit Both Athletic Brands and Sports Teams

Article Summary

According to The Independent, Liverpool Football Club (LFC) and Nike partnered in what could be the biggest kit deal in English Premier League (EPL) history. LFC's brand partnership with Nike demonstrates the potential for increased sales for brands matched with the right partner. Nike will supply LFC's playing, training, and travel wear, along with outfitting the men's, women's and academy squads, coaching staff, and Liverpool FC Foundation. The partnership generated increased sales revenue as it will result in new branded Liverpool gear being made available to fans globally.

How the Liverpool-Nike Partnership is Expanding Global Reach for Both Brands


Nike became Liverpool Football Club's official jersey sponsor from June 1, 2020, in a partnership that proved to be extremely lucrative for both parties. Liverpool's recent success and strong international following, coupled with Nike's global reach, made this partnership a great match.

The deal exemplified the unlimited potential for increased sales when brands choose the right partner to expand awareness of their brand. Liverpool's brand partnership with Nike generated increased revenue by offering new branded gear to fans around the globe.

Nike aimed to make all Liverpool gear available to fans wherever they may be. This included jerseys, hats, and other sporting goods that could be purchased in official retail stores and online.

In addition to the enhanced visibility for the brand, Nike also benefited from increased sales due to their extended reach with Liverpool Football Club. The deal substantially increased profits and provided Nike with access to an entirely new consumer demographic.

This partnership was also beneficial for both brands as it allowed them to share their enthusiasm for the team with fans around the world. Liverpool’s full range of merchandise was available through the Nike website, providing an additional avenue for customers to purchase team apparel.

Furthermore, the partnership added value for Liverpool due to Nike's expanded global presence. The deal provided a platform for fans to connect with their favorite team and an opportunity for both brands to showcase their loyalty and commitment to the sport of soccer. In addition, it brought additional revenue streams through merchandise sales and increased brand awareness.

Finally, this partnership opened the door to a whole new consumer demographic that may not have had access to Liverpool’s products and services in the past. In doing so, Nike and Liverpool gained more customers and fans worldwide, thus creating a lasting legacy for both brands. 

The Power of Collaboration: Lessons from the Liverpool-Nike Partnership

By partnering with Nike, Liverpool also had the opportunity to explore new technologies and expand its digital capabilities. This enabled them to stay ahead of the curve in marketing campaigns and reach a wider audience while creating a unique experience for fans worldwide. 

Ultimately, this partnership was an exciting step forward for both brands as they looked to continue their collective success on the global stage. Liverpool's loyal and passionate fan base benefited from this collaboration, as they had access to more of their favorite team’s products and services than ever before. Fans enjoyed new product releases, special promotions, and exclusive offers only available through this partnership. 

Digital Experiences and Fan Engagement: The Future of Sports Brand Partnerships

In addition to the new products and services available, Liverpool FC also offered their fans an array of digital experiences and content. Through this collaboration, they were able to continue to launch innovative fan engagement initiatives such as virtual reality tours of Anfield, interactive gaming experiences with players, and exclusive podcasts featuring the team’s stars. 

Liverpool FC's commitment to their fans was unparalleled and this collaboration ensured the club continued to build a closer relationship with its supporters. Fans enjoyed more exciting experiences and exclusive content, allowing them to engage more deeply with their favorite team. 

This partnership signified unprecedented commitment from both parties. The innovative experiences and content this collaboration created for all of Liverpool FC's amazing fans were truly remarkable.

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Just Did It!

Nike instructed us to "Just Do It," and they did it themselves! They secured a deal with the world's current top football (soccer) club. Liverpool FC, the current European champions, UEFA Club World Cup winners, and soon-to-be champions of the English Premier League (for the first time in 30 years), will sport Nike jerseys from the 2020-21 season and beyond, in what could potentially be the biggest kit deal in EPL history.

According to The Independent, “The deal could represent a record in English football, topping their previous deal with New Balance that was worth £45m per season and possibly matching or bettering Manchester United’s £75m per year deal with Adidas.” This would equate to Liverpool earning roughly $98 million US dollars for this partnership in one year alone.

In addition to the various LFC club jerseys and uniforms, Nike will be the supplier for the team’s practice, coaching, and travel wear. The Independent shared a statement from Liverpool Football Club:  “Liverpool Football Club is delighted to announce Nike, the world’s leading footwear and apparel company, as its official kit supplier from the 2020-21 season. The multi-year partnership, which begins on June 1, 2020, will see Nike manufacture and supply Liverpool FC’s playing, training and travel wear. As official kit supplier, the agreement will see Nike outfitting the men’s, women’s and Academy squads, as well as coaching staff and Liverpool FC Foundation.” As a result of the partnership, fans around the world will now have access to a new variety of Nike-branded Liverpool gear, which they will undoubtedly be eager to purchase in order to keep up with the team's current look.

Liverpool FC's International Popularity Boosted by Squad of Superstars

Liverpool Football Club's global following has been further strengthened by their multi-national squad of superstars. With a history of success in England and Europe, Liverpool has attracted fans from all over the world, drawn to their exciting style of play and passionate fanbase.

The team's African contingent is particularly noteworthy, with Sadio Mane of Senegal being named African Footballer of the Year in 2019, while Mohammed Salah of Egypt has won the award twice, in 2017 and 2018. Liverpool's Brazilian connection is also significant, with Roberto Firmino, Fabinho, and Alisson all members of the Brazilian national team.

Liverpool's popularity in Asia has also been on the rise, thanks in part to the recent signing of Japanese star striker Takumi Minamino. As the club continues to attract talented players from around the world, their global reach and appeal is set to grow even stronger. 

By building a diverse squad of players and appealing to fans across continents, Liverpool Football Club has cemented its status as one of the world's most popular and beloved teams. 

Liverpool - International Players pic2

Liverpool FC's decision to partner with Nike over their previous kit provider, New Balance, was largely due to the wider global reach that the Nike brand offers. This led the club to go through a legal battle to secure the partnership.

According to CNN, “New Balance alleged the club was refusing to honor the terms of its reported $52.6 million-a-year deal, which expires in May. Under the terms of the deal, New Balance said it was entitled to renew its deal with Liverpool if it was able to match offers made from rival kit suppliers. However, Liverpool argued New Balance -- which has been its manufacturer since 2015 -- could not match Nike's potential marketing and distribution powers and the High Court in London ruled in the club's favor.”

This was a huge win for both Liverpool and Nike who now have unlimited potential capitalize on each other’s international reach. And a massive loss for New Balance.

CNN shared a statement from Billy Hogan, Liverpool's managing director and chief commercial officer: "We welcome Nike into the LFC family as our new official kit supplier and expect them to be an incredible partner for the club, both at home and globally as we continue to expand our fan base. As a brand, Nike reflects our ambitions for growth, and we look forward to working with them to bring fans new and exciting products."

Liverpool FC sees their partnership with Nike as essential for expanding the global reach of their fan base and merchandise sales because Nike has a significantly larger presence in stores worldwide compared to New Balance. As part of the deal, Liverpool FC will receive a percentage of the jersey and merchandise sales, making it a lucrative partnership for both parties.

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Nike's Winning Strategy: Partnering with Top Football Clubs and Athletes

Nike's marketing strategy of associating themselves with champions has helped to promote their brand as the one for winners. In the 2020-21 season, Nike will continue their partnership with some of the top clubs in the English Premiere League, including Chelsea, Tottenham, and Liverpool.

Furthermore, Nike is the official kit sponsor of several other top European clubs, including PSG and Barcelona, as well as the national teams of France (men) and the USA (women). These partnerships not only increase brand visibility, but also allow for the potential of co-promoting individual athletes and clubs with the Nike brand on a global scale.

Beyond football, Nike also has individual athlete contracts with some of the biggest stars in sports, presenting further opportunities for cross-promotion. By partnering with champions and top performers in various sports, Nike is able to extend their brand reach and solidify their position as a brand associated with excellence and success. 

Liverpool - LeBron pic

One such star is the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James. According to Business Insider, “Liverpool FC part owner Lebron James took to Instagram to welcome the English Premier League side to Nike after it penned a record new kit deal with the iconic brand. James, who owns a 2% share in the club, and is a Nike sponsored athlete himself, shared his delight at the agreement on social media. ‘YNWA,’ the Los Angeles Lakers star said, alongside a heart emoji and picture of the club's badge. ‘YNWA’ stands for ‘You'll Never Walk Alone,’ Liverpool's club motto.”

LeBron James extending a warm welcome to Liverpool FC on social media is a clear indication of the potential crossover reach the football club can have with the help of other Nike athletes who possess a strong social following. James' tweet reached over 22 million Twitter followers, many of whom may not have been familiar with Liverpool FC prior to this announcement. However, now they all know that Liverpool is a Nike team.

All Branded Partnerships Are A Team Effort

Branded partnerships don't always involve two massive entities like Liverpool Football Club and Nike. They can be much smaller, but regardless of size, the key to success is finding a good fit and working together as a team.

It's important for both parties to have clear objectives and a shared vision in order for the partnership to thrive. For further insights into successful brand partnerships, check out some of the blog posts our team has written.

Hollywood Branded specializes in finding the perfect partnerships for each brand they work with. One of the most popular options for brands is to partner with TV and film projects. To learn more about how to make this happen, check out their e-book filled with insights.

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