Home world Liverpool win court battle with New Balance – paving way for £150m Nike deal

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Liverpool win court battle with New Balance – paving way for £150m Nike deal

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Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane celebrate during Liverpool's Champions League win over Genk this week

Liverpool Football Club won a fight at High Court with a major sponsor of US sportswear, allowing him to secure a possible £ 150 million deal with Nike next season.

New Balance has gone to court for alleged refusal by Champions League winners to honor the terms of their current contract, which expires next May.

The agreement authorizes New Balance to renew if it meets the terms of any competitor's offer to provide the Liverpool kit.

Liverpool, which received a £ 30m a year contract from Nike for five years, argued that New Balance could not match Nike's offer for marketing and distribution of Liverpool products.

The club noted its commitment to sell licensed products in "no less than 6,000 stores worldwide, 500 of which will be owned by Nike."

The New Balance attorney said he had "approximately 40,000 retail doors worldwide," claiming the club was determined to break its renewal obligation because it was "married to Nike."

Guy Morpuss, QC, representing Liverpool, told the court: "The idea that New Balance would bring a football kit to something near these 40,000 stores is totally unrealistic."

After the three-day trial, Justice Teare ruled in favor of Liverpool, noting that "New Balance's marketing offer was less favorable to Liverpool FC than Nike's offer."

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Nike will use athletes like Serena Williams to promote Liverpool products.

LeBron James in action by the Los Angeles Lakers at the season premiere against LA Clippers
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Nike also cited basketball star LeBron James, Liverpool shareholder, as someone who could promote products under the deal.

The judge said Nike's offer to use "global superstar athletes" such as tennis player Serena Williams and basketball star Lebron James to promote Liverpool products could not be compared to New Balance.

New Balance said it would seek to appeal.

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