Liverpool have officially confirmed an extension to their deal with kit supplier New Balance, on the day a lucrative contract with Nike was due to take effect.
The Reds won a legal battle with New Balance earlier this year, greenlighting an anticipated agreement with Nike to manufacture their kits, training gear and other merchandise from 2020/21 onwards.
The switch in suppliers was due to take effect from 1 June, but that was before the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the conclusion of the Premier League season deep into the summer.
Official confirmation from #LFC that they will complete the 2019/20 season in their New Balance kit. New five-year deal with Nike pushed back two months and now starts on August 1. Club staff preparing for a big launch that week.— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) June 1, 2020
As a result, New Balance will continue to manufacture the kits until 31 July - by which point the Premier League should be concluded.
"It has been mutually agreed with New Balance, the club and incoming kit supplier Nike that the deal, which was due to come to an end on May 31, 2020, will be extended due to the Premier League being suspended as a result of COVID-19.
"Nike’s term as official kit supplier to the club, outfitting the men’s, women’s and Academy squads, as well as coaching staff and Liverpool FC Foundation, is due to commence on August 1, 2020."
The Athletic's James Pearce adds that staff are preparing for a major launch event on the new date that Nike are due to assume responsibility.
No plans have been announced for that lavish event just yet, and likely won't be for the foreseeable given that the UK remains in a state of lockdown.
In the past, it has been suggested that Nike's global brand was a major reason behind the Reds' switch from New Balance, while sporting icons like LeBron James - who is actually a minor stakeholder in Liverpool Football Club - could even be involved in the launch or ongoing marketing in some capacity.
Liverpool's focus for the time being remains on the planned resumption of their Premier League title challenge on 17 June. It has been reported that friendly matches could take place ahead of the anticipated restart, in order to acclimatise players to playing without fans.
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Source : 90min