Liverpool and Nike get shirt boost as potential £70m deal takes shape

Liverpool sold the third most shirts in Europe in 2021, according to new research.

Sales of the Reds’ kits have performed well over the past 12 months, with former commercial director Matt Scammell telling ECHO last year that the club had achieved record global sales compared to the previous six years.

A Champions League victory in 2019 and a Premier League crown in 2020 all added to the already massive global appeal, and the Reds having started their deal with Nike in earnest at the start of the 2020/21 season, a deal that is strong incentive for the club in terms of royalties paid on the sale of Liverpool merchandise around the world, it was a promising start for the relationship.

A study by Euromericas Sport Marketing Group (via Football Transfers), which worked with FIFA, claims the Reds sold the third highest number of shirts last year, moving 2.45 million units, behind only the Real Madrid (3.05 million) and Bayern Munich (3.25m).

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Manchester United’s addition of Cristiano Ronaldo, albeit later in the year, could not elevate the Old Trafford squad above Liverpool, with United selling 1.95million units, the Juventus making up the top five with 1.42 million shirts sold, a figure helped in the first part of the year by Ronaldo’s presence in Turin.

Barcelona are, according to the report, sixth after selling 1.34m. The loss of Lionel Messi over the summer saw them lose their most marketable asset, but their poor showing on the pitch of late has done little to improve their appeal.

Paris Saint-Germain, the club Messi left to join on a bumper deal, have sold 1.18 million shirts, a figure that puts them ninth on the list according to Euromericas data.

The top 10 also included Chelsea in seventh (1.31m sold), Borussia Dortmund in eighth (1.22m sold), helped by the Erling Haaland effect, and Manchester City in 10th place (1.09m sold) .

The first impact of the Nike deal on the balance sheet will be felt when the 2020/21 accounts are published by Liverpool, with those figures expected towards the end of February, according to ECHO.

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Speaking to ECHO last year, Scammell, who left to take up a similar position with Formula E earlier this month, said: “I had a conversation with Mike Cox who runs our retail and merchandising proposition. They achieved world record sales from the previous six years. So since FSG owns the club, we have achieved record sales working with Nike.

“They’re finding ways to engage with the global fan base that we’ve never done before. If you look at our growth, a lot of that with Nike is coming from non-EMEA regions (Europe, Middle East and Africa ).

“I don’t want to go into too much detail about an area that is outside of my remit, but I feel like this will be an opportunity for Nike to be particularly strong in responding to fans’ desires on new markets.

“We are a global club, our fans are everywhere and they want the product of Liverpool in their hands.

“Having a brand like Nike involved that has this global distribution experience of bringing this product to the world will be extremely important to us as the partnership progresses.

“I’m happy to say that last year was a phenomenal result in terms of first-team kit sales.

“We are at the start of the season at the moment, but kit sales of the away kit, for example, have reached high levels.

Nike pays Liverpool around £30million a year guaranteed, but the value of the deal is held in the 20% royalties Liverpool make on the sale of Reds-branded Nike merchandise around the world, with some industry analysts assessing the £70m deal. per year accordingly.

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