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Liverpool Dumps Adidas for US Company Warrior Sports, Says Report

warrior sports Liverpool Dumps Adidas for US Company Warrior Sports, Says Report

Liverpool secured the biggest kit deal in English soccer history today after it was revealed that the Anfield club had signed a deal with Warrior Sports, according to The Daily Mail. The agreement will net Liverpool a staggering $41 million a year (£25 million), which smashes the previous record of Nike’s £23.5 million deal with Manchester United.

If you’re wondering, like me, who are Warrior Sports, they’re a US-based sports uniform company who specialize in uniforms for lacrosse teams. They also create hockey uniforms. Warrior Sports are headquartered in Warren, Michigan. In 2004, they were acquired by New Balance. And in 2007, they acquired Brine Sporting Goods. Brine is a more well-known soccer brand in the United States, where Brine soccer balls, goalkeeper gloves and shin-guards are quite well-known.

While the £25 million a year kit deal is twice as much as what Liverpool were getting from Adidas, my biggest concern is whether Warrior Sports can create a professional and aesthetically pleasing soccer kit. The first new Liverpool kit designed and manufactured by Warrior Sports will debut in the 2012-13 season, so they will have plenty of time to perfect the design.

According to The Daily Mail, Liverpool sell approximately 900,000 shirts a year. Only Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid sell more soccer shirts.

While 25% of Premier League clubs are owned by American companies, American businesses are getting their share of the action when it comes to securing kit deals with Premiership clubs. Under Armour recently signed a deal with Tottenham Hotspur beginning with the 2012-13 season. Several clubs in the Premier League wear Nike, an American company. Many clubs wear Umbro, a brand which is owned by Nike. Adidas and Puma, meanwhile, are German companies.

Liverpool Football Club or Fenway Sports Group have yet to confirm the Warrior Sports news.

This entry was posted in General, Leagues: EPL. Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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74 Responses to Liverpool Dumps Adidas for US Company Warrior Sports, Says Report

  1. redhed17 says:

    Well done to Liverpool for securing such a lucrative kit deal. :-) To sell so many replica jerseys meant Liverpool are a more valuable than Adidas have valued them at, and if they were not willing to meet the valuation then hello Warrior Sports. :-)

    It is a risk though, both for Liverpool and Warrior Sports. Football jerseys are as much a fashion item as well as a way of following your team these days, get the design wrong, and that can affect sales. Looking at Warrior Sports catalogue, the kits they produce are pretty plain, but I think that is the norm in the sports they are involved in, functional rather than fashionable. Not having a well known logo, or a previous football legacy to base their designs on, what they design is going to be very important. Good job they have a bit of time to sort it out. ;-)

  2. Stevie the K says:

    Well, they’ve got nowhere to go but up after this year’s kit

  3. Steve says:

    I have a bunch of Warrior equipment for ice hockey and it is faaaaaaantastic stuff.

  4. FC Asheville says:

    Designing a soccer kit is not exactly rocket science, especially with a fairly simple and traditional theme like Liverpool’s. Keep it simple and classy and you’re fine. I’m sure the people at Warrior will have no issues.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Easier said than done. We’ve seen some truly awful designs of late from companies who have been in the business for far longer than Warrior Sports. Let’s hope they get it right. If so, other Premier League clubs will come knocking.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

    • redhed17 says:

      You just have to look at the current Tottenham kit to see how the design can look poor and cheap imho, especially the home kit. Bolton kits vary from OK to disaster too. The current Everton pink away kit? I haven’t seen too many chaps wearing that. The wrong design can have a huge effect on popularity, and so sales. Yes, Liverpool will always sell, but to justify that kind of deal you have to continue to sell as well, if not better.

      • FC Asheville says:

        Of course there are some horrid kits out there, but usually that happens when something truly stupid gets approved….i.e. Everton Pink. IMO Liverpool could stick with the same red home, black away theme for the next decade w/ minor changes and continue to sell millions of replicas. LFC, ManU, Chelsea….these teams know how to keep it simple.

        Best kits/uniforms of all time are the basics….Yankees, Penn State football, etc.

      • Gareth Jones says:

        wasn’t that pink everton kit designed for a charity appeal or something like that, and also the clubs get a number of kit designs before choosing the one that goes on sale.

  5. Ryan says:

    I’m more curious to see what the warm ups and accessory type items look like, because I agree with Ashville – designing a kit isn’t rocket science.

  6. alabamabob says:

    Hmm…
    Adidas has always had some pretty classy designs, seemingly never going to ridiculous levels… with color yes, but overall designs no. But if you were pay me 41 million a year to wear a shirt, I reckon I’d do it.

  7. Sean says:

    Keep adidas for liverpool

  8. Joe says:

    As long as they produce a quality product at a reasonable price then Warrior Sports will get the thumbs up from me.

  9. Damien says:

    Well done on getting such a good deal, but the logo is horrible!Adidas is classy, and the kits will look horrible

  10. Terry says:

    Warrior’s logo is the Nike logo plus a couple of socks, see it? So if you don’t like the logo just rub off the two socks :) .

    When I was younger, Brine soccer shoes were one of the best ones around. They were local (US based) and had a good product. So I’m glad the company that owns Brine products has a major role in world soccer. I hope they succeed.

    • nico says:

      this is not a good idea….i was over the moon when liverpool treturned to Adidas. there designs are a class above and if your using brine as an example then forget it…they’re balls and other equipment are terrible. Sadly money rules and they’re now switching to a no name brand, all to boost sales in the US. Im not happy…what next, Landon Donovan in a reds shirt????

  11. Trevor says:

    This is great news.Now all future Liverpool teams will have a big W on their shirts.Perfect because they are a bunch of wan….

  12. Maybee says:

    I don’t understand why some are flipping out over this. Football is not about fashion. It is however (unfortunately) about money (to an extent). And if you must have a corporate logo on your shirt, at least make sure you go top dollar (er, pound) for it being there.

    Well done, FSG!

  13. brn442 says:

    HMM, after waiting 8 long years for the dreadful Reebok era to end, the return of Adidas was welcomed. This would have been bizarre on so many levels but for the fact that it is 25 million pounds a season and it’s hard to turn down that sort of cash.

  14. FC Asheville says:

    Also should be noted that New Balance (Warrior) is a Boston based company and this surely had something to do with the deal with FSG. Another smart move by JW Henry and FSG!

  15. joe m says:

    13£ a year more that can be spent on players. Add this to the Standard Charter sponsorship and it’s looking pretty good.

    So far thumbs up. Plus hey, gotta be better than the pinstripe baseball jersey Adidas gave us this year!

  16. 5overlord says:

    They can’t do any worse than the cheap and nasty efforts reebok used to knock up.

  17. the kop kid says:

    Nooo….adidas the best!!keep adidas!!

  18. David H says:

    Have to say I don’t care even a little. They can be sponsored by Lanzera, Xara or Vici so long as the cash is rolling in.

    An additional point to consider is what bonuses are in the Warrior contract, for success on the field. That can add a tidy sum to the base contract.

    Let’s face it. Most Liverpool supporters have been clamoring for investment for years. Now that some money will be available let’s welcome it, so long as it’s not coming from some dumbass sheik or African dictator (or a Russian who stole all his money.)

    The fact that Dalglish is willing to give youth-teamers a chance means that a lot of the extra money can go toward buying some seriously good players, rather than squad-fillers like Hodgson bought.

    Bayern is the model here. They mostly fill their roster with home growns & use their cash to bring in a great player or two every year (apart from LVG, who paid for it w/his job.) Six or seven Liverpool academy products + top class purchases can = an excellent team competing for the league.

    • redhed17 says:

      I doubt Nike would go for Liverpool while they have Utd on their books. And I don’t think Nike would stump up the same money as Warrior Sports. ;-)

  19. navdeep says:

    my biggest concern is where are people going to buy the liverpool jerse from in asia…i mean i don’t think there are that many if any at all warrior outlets in singapore and other parts of asia..coz let’s not forget that a major part of epl shirt sales comes from asian market…and warrior imho is not that strong & aggresive at marketing as say adidas or nike or even puma are..correct me if i am wrong guys..

    • alabamabob says:

      I can’t say I’ve ever heard of them so I would agree. But this morning while perusing their website I noticed absolutely NOTHING about football. This may be their IN in the football world. I don’t think they’ll screw it up. ( hope ) Even if they do, it’s a shirt. It’s the badge, the team and player that matter. If the shirt looks good, I’ll get one. If it doesn’t I won’t. I’ll be a Liverpool fan long after the sponsor changes again.

      YNWA!

    • redhed17 says:

      Good point, do they have the distribution network to get the kit to people around the World?

    • Dave (dlbags) says:

      They are owned by New Balance which is a worldwide leader in athletic footwear. I think they will be fine.

      • navdeep says:

        ok so they are owned by new balance…but my concern is that adidas is a brand with a gr8 so called “brand image”..not only that but wht about the sub continent market…yes it’s not a ver big market but..it is a growing market..as in there are many football lovers in that part of the world…do u think new balance can cater to those sort of markets….also i don’t want to sound anti warrior or anything like that but the average joe sometimes picks up a football tee just while visiting a showroom…and m worry how strong is the retail network of new balance in comparison to the more so called established brands like nike,adidas & puma…coz the 900,000 shirts tht lfc sell are not sold in us or europe only a major chunk of the reveue comes from the asian market…i might be wrong anywaz wht do u think???

        • Dave (dlbags) says:

          People buy the shirts for the team especially with LFC. New Balance make EXCELLENT shoes far better than adidas but they’ve always catered to more serious running enthusiasts. Most foot doctors recommended them to people. They a few years ago got into basketball shoes with a lot of success. Last year they started making baseball cleats to a huge success. The kit makers are just making shorts and jerseys, the boots are worn by players regardless of team contracts so I don’t imagine this having much impact except in kit sales which should change unless they make a dreadful one which I’m sure LFC won’t let them.

    • Bill says:

      People in Asia and anywhere else for that matter will buy the shirts whereever they usually buy them (sports shops), the owners of whom will buy from their usual wholesalers. How can you say they are not good at marketing? they don’t have to be, when it comes to football shirts the fans want their teams shirts no matter where they come from.

      • soonerscotty says:

        Who cares who makes a product as long as they’re not using child/slave labor??

        I don’t think I’ve ever cared who made a certain jersey/kit…not in all my years did I care who made it, I’ve only cared about the team.

  20. Dave (dlbags) says:

    I’m sorta surprised they didn’t do the deal under the New Balance moniker as they are globally more well known. But I guess Warrior is trying to make their branding more known worldwide? NB recently got into making baseball cleats (last year) to a huge success so I though NB would jump into the soccer biz as Under Armor is.

    Also with this deal I expect Adidas to go hard at getting Arsenal back and Nike to try and retain them leading to a bigger deal than LFC or MUFC have currently. Of course Arsenal’s Emirates and Nike contracts don’t run out until I think 2013/2014?

    Puma will need to jump in too as they won’t have a top team anymore with THFC leaving them unless Newcastle United regain their top table form.

    • brn442 says:

      Dave, my thoughts exactly – if NB still owns the company, why wouldn’t they have just done it under the NB mark, as it is more established. Maybe they see it as sponsorship in the true sense of the word and simply want “warrior” to get some exposure for a year or two; it’s already working, we know who they are now.

    • redhed17 says:

      I don’t know how Arsenal would end up having a bigger deal than Liverpool or Man Utd. The next Utd deal will dictate what deals other teams may get later, I can’t see them getting a smaller deal than LFC. Man City and Tottenham will be the deals to get if they keep on improving as they have done.

      The success of the teams coming up to the time they renegotiate will have a big effect on the deals they can get. So far it’s Utd who will be getting better a better deal. ;-) lol

      • Dave (dlbags) says:

        I think Arsenal’s will be bigger because it comes after those two re up. Nike will obviously have to give a huge contract to Man U. Arsenal’s is up till 2014 (I looked it up) 2years after Man U will get their new contract and so I imagine they will be courted by all the brands, plus at Arsenal’s annual branding growth rate who knows how much that will be worth by then? And Emirates’ kit and stadium rights will be up too so I expect a huge deal or two.

        Sadly Adidas now only has Chelsea. it iwll be strange to see LFC not wearing Adidas.

        • brn442 says:

          Ah, the halcyon days in the 80′s, when adidas had Liverpool, Manchester United, and Arsenal in their back pocket. Nike has done a generally good job with the Arsenal account but it would be interesting if they switched back to Arsenal.

  21. Alin says:

    not good news, i have always loved adidas and still wear adidas but seen my favourite club getting dubbed is not fun.. sports worriors will never make any shirts that are greater than adidas and it will be just plain red on the shirt just like Nike’s kits… i think liverpool should have sticked with adidas. screw the money, make the customers happy is the number one factor

  22. anfield bred says:

    I can honestly say i dont give a flying fig who makes our kit, i love the club and if the Reds wore bin Bags i would support it. In this day and age if a brand puts its money where its mouth is then i am behind them. 50 million for the shirt a year is brill 255 from Charter and 25r fron Warrior..Happy days……YNWA…JFT96

  23. jim says:

    Red shirt.
    Red shorts.
    Red socks.

    Stick to that and our American cousins will be fine.

  24. Oldfryup says:

    I’m sure home strip will be red!
    There may be some room for style in the away and particularly the
    number 3. 25 million pounds? I guess we’ll have to wait to see how much they cost retail. I think we might get a shock .

    • Sean says:

      I do not think we will be in for a shock at all. The jerseys will cost around the same price all the others do.

      Warrior did not pay all of this money so they could recoup it back exclusively from kit sales. They paid this money due in large part to increase recognition for their brand.

  25. Ste says:

    I was delighted when adidas returned to supply our kits and in the first few years they did a great job. The last few however have been substandard in my opinion. I am a firm believer that you do not mess with the clubs crest (colours and all), as much as i am a big fan and a season ticket holder at liverpool, i will not part with any of my hard earned cash if the slightest bit of detail on the shirt is poor. It looks like I won’t be owning a Liverpool shirt for many more years to come as i won’t buy a shirt just because its Liverpool. The best kit supplier around at the moment in my opinion is Nike. Good bit of business from the owners tho, that is the only positive thing i can say on this deal.

  26. Jimmy says:

    I’m a Liverpool fan from Australia and think the kit change will make minimal difference. I’ll get one and the Liverpool brand as strong as ever here. One of our AFL clubs switched sponsors to new balance and many here has the same concerns not being a noted footballing sponsor but the kit they produces is the highest quality and possible the most attractive design and i don’t support the team that use them.

  27. Parko23 says:

    the pinstripes were awesome

  28. Parko23 says:

    bayern is adidas!?!?

  29. Parko23 says:

    Personally ive always associated the rivalry of Nike v Adidas with the teams that wear the brands.
    E.G Liverpool (Adidas) Man Utd (Nike)
    Real Madrid (Adidas) Barcelona (Nike)
    AC Milan (Adidas) Inter Milan (Nike)
    Argentina (Adidas) Brazil (Nike)
    There the biggest rivalries in Association Football!
    Theres no way Warrior can compete with Adidas Sales, this is just a quick fix solution to money making!

  30. Kafeel Iqbal says:

    who would want some unknown Us brand, instead of one of the biggest brands in the world Adidas

    • redhed17 says:

      The point is, people want the Liverpool kit, that it will be made by ‘some unknown Us brand’, will not mean that much to the majority of the fans unless it is hideous. The reason they are paying Liverpool so much cash is so they stop being an unknown US brand. ;-) lol

  31. ross says:

    i for one wont be buying any more liverpool jerseys for the first time ever,u cant beat adidas gear,best brand,i would wear nothing else,cant see many fans buying dem either,big mistake liverpool

  32. Jakob says:

    Adidas may be a big brand, but i’m clueless as to why. Their designs are awfull, and many teams have the same design, with minor changes. Liverpool, Stoke, Real Madrid, Bayern München and so many more all look alike. Nike however have always made different designs to different teams, but the new United shirt is the worst I have seen in a while?
    I look forward to some new original, yet traditional design from Warrior. I don’t think they will take a risk and make something crazy.

  33. barry patrick says:

    I think a new kit will be good, david pocock get back to work and stop reading forums : )

  34. jon says:

    does any one have any pictures of the warrior jerseys that they have done in the past

  35. vand says:

    I’m an ordinary Liverpool fan from Indonesia, a quite small nation in Asia. I wonder where I will buy the original shirt to support the team (indirectly). I could find Adidas, or Reebok outlets easily, but no Warriors outlet available here.

    To make things a little bit worse. most of Indonesians would recognize Warrior as the brand of very cheap generic old school sneakers that quite famous in 80/90s. (Since it’s very cheap, most of public schools those days include Warrior shoes as part of the school uniform.)

    You could try to Google it with this keywords : “sepatu warrior”. (“sepatu” means shoe). :|

    YNWA

    • Robby Mosal says:

      Salam kenal, mas vand…

      We’re both Indonesian Liverpudlian…
      As I can understand your fear, I’m still confident that Indonesian people not that dumb to associate this brand Sport Warrior with our old school’s sneaker. (I was also wearing that black legendary shoes back at 80s in the elementary school).

      Let’s just wait and see, only time will tell if this will be a good signing or not.
      YNWA from Indonesia.

  36. Adam Boulton says:

    Great…and tell em not to put any bloody blue on any of the kits.
    EOM.

  37. Ian says:

    I for one will be happy to see the back of adidas. The last couple of seasons they have been making kits for us that even sunday league teams would not wear. I know it shouldn’t be down to the kits but us fans are the ones who buy them for ridiculous prices. This year is prime example as the training wear for us is the same as Stoke’s, Bristol City etc etc, as where Chelski’s, Real Madrid’s AC Milans is all unique to there respective designs. We are being treated as a small club to this pethetic company and I am glad we are having someone make the kits that has paid a fortune to show who Liverpool Football Club really are. Bye Bye adidas shite, Welcom Warrior Sports.

  38. Ian says:

    I have been in touch with Liverpool FC, they have no idea where these stories have come from and will be staying with adidas for the forseeable future. Sorry to dissapoint all you fans who want rid of this crap, I for one am gutted we will not be leaving them.

  39. Dave 23 says:

    I think this deal could make or break LFC world wide popularity because adidas is a huge brand and very popular with the youth of today worrying times Dave23

  40. Glyn Davies says:

    I understand that Liverpool will be touring our great land. Hopefulliy they may be the mls allstars opponent at ppl park in late July.

  41. keys says:

    Regardless of which team you support: manure, manurec, or other epl teams, Liverpool is coming back to be winning again. The people who are in charge currently at anfield are quite intelligent, business minded and I bet all of you agree with me that if you don’t have the cash, you can’t compete with someone who has the cash. A good example is manure with 75k+ stadium while we are stucked with 40k+. If you do the math, it’s double of we get from tickets and these clubs are beating us financially well beyond our expectations. Thanks to FSG for reviving the hope of the great club and great city. Meanwhile, for adidass they are like wall street people, they are making big bucks as compare to what they are paying to Liverpool. Sorry, the market is big; they are people who are willing to meet our demand and are willing to provide better services. You know if you do the math, 900k+shirts for only 12m for a year, let alone other products, what a shame! , friends we don’t have to talk this things!

  42. Jono says:

    Hey listen no doubt Adidas are a top brand but I agree that often their kits are a bit “samey” remember all those kits in the early 90′s with 3 stripes across the shoulder or around the rib cage? and look if you visit the warrior site there is a link that actually allows you to design your own teams kit! Maybe we should all submit a consensus design to warrior saying “this is what we want”. Anyway I don’t believe that the people that matter at LFC will allow a cheap and nasty design, it will no doubt be modern with a traditional feel (FSG have done everything right so far since taking over). As for the brand who cares I am old enough to remember when the shirts had no logos on them and I even remember a photo of Shanks and Bob Paisley posing in training shirts with “GOLA” across the front of them heaven forbid!!!!!

  43. Adidasi Nike says:

    Lol, i really didn’t knew that Umbro company is owned by Nike. Neayher that Adidas and Puma are german companies.

  44. Parko23 says:

    Completely agree! Adidas has provided liverpool with great jerseys over the years, this is a sad decision! Liverpool Away Kit 09/10 Season, so awesome!

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