The most talked-about football kit news of the last week came from the High Court, as New Balance lost their bid to stop Liverpool accepting a new deal from Nike.
The European Champions will wear Nike kits from the 2020-21 season after a judge agreed that New Balance’s marketing reach and access to celebrity influencers was dwarfed by that of Nike.
That meant New Balance’s claim that a contractual clause allowed them to match any rival offer was deemed invalid, paving the way for Nike to take over kit duties at Anfield.
Mr Justice Nigel Teare agreed that Nike’s offer was more favourable to the club, not only in financial terms but for its marketing potential, concluding:
“The New Balance offer on marketing was less favourable to Liverpool FC than the Nike offer because Liverpool FC cannot require New Balance, on the terms of its offer, to use global superstar athletes of the calibre of LeBron James, Serena Williams, Drake etc.”
“It must follow that Liverpool FC is not obliged to enter into a new agreement with New Balance upon the terms of the latter’s offer.”
This means this season’s designs will be New Balance’s final kits for the Anfield outfit.
New Balance (and Warrior before them) can be thanked for bringing a darker shade of red back to Anfield, and Liverpool fans will remember their home shirts with fondness for their association with the success of the Jurgen Klopp era.
Although they sold in record numbers, New Balance’s designs were often off-target or agonisingly close to greatness.
Several away shirts have not hit the mark and this year’s home kit could have been a favourite were it not for the retro-style pinstripes cutting away at the shoulders.
In contrast, after years of stale templates, Nike have once again shown themselves to be the most exciting firm in football shirt design with incredible kits surfacing everywhere from London to Lagos, and from Paris to Rome and Barcelona.
Nike have a whole back catalogue of iconic kits and colour schemes from Liverpool’s history to inspire their eagerly anticipated designs which are said to be close to completion.
We can’t wait to see what they bring to Liverpool.