Warrior Sports will begin producing Liverpool shirts for the '12-13 seasonEPL club Liverpool has landed the "biggest kit deal in the history" of the league, securing a US$41.3M-a-year contract with Warrior Sports, according to Andrew Kennedy of GOAL.com. The agreement doubles the US$19.8M deal the club currently has with adidas, which "opted not to match the offer." The deal also surpasses the previous British record of US$38.5M annually paid by Nike to Manchester United. Warrior Sports, a subsidiary of Boston-based New Balance, is "prominent in the lacrosse world." The company "will take over production of Liverpool shirts in time for the 2012/2013 season, with the agreement believed to a be a long-term contract" (GOAL.com, 4/22). In London, Ben Smith notes Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool’s owner, has in recent months become "increasingly close" to New Balance Chair Jim Davis. New Balance earlier this month announced a multiyear partnership with the Red Sox. The Liverpool agreement with Warrior "would appear to have solved the short-term cashflow problems caused by failure to qualify" for the UEFA Champions League. Liverpool’s "defection has come as a huge blow" to adidas. According to German market research company PR Marketing, Liverpool is the "fourth-biggest replica kit seller in football." About 900,000 shirts are sold annually; only Real Madrid sells more jerseys for adidas (LONDON TIMES, 4/22).
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