Liverpool executive sings praises of New Balance: Stresses club prefers long-term partnerships
12 March 2019
Billy Hogan hails the Boston-based firm New Balance as a “terrific partner”.
Liverpool have proved a club that stick with their partners, with Carlsberg being one of many examples.
Liverpool have indicated they could retain sponsor New Balance - if the Boston-based sports footwear company meets their £75-million-a-year valuation for a new kit deal.
Managing director and chief commercial officer Billy Hogan has given a ringing endorsement to New Balance, lauding the company as ‘terrific partners’.
The Premier League giants Liverpool are ready to complete a record kit deal that could surpass Manchester United's £75-million-a-year agreement with Adidas.
The club are open to offers from the likes of Nike and Adidas
Talks are underway with New Balance, but a renewal depends on the US company upping its sponsorship from the current deal worth £45 million a year. The club are open to offers from the likes of Nike and Adidas.
Sold record numbers of kits
With talks continuing, Hogan has praised the mutually-beneficial relationship, which started in 2012 and has seen the club go on to sell record numbers of kits, while helping New Balance significantly boost its profile.
“We originally started with sister company Warrior and transitioned over halfway through this term. That switch has been a great one for both of us. We had a record-breaking year last year in terms of the number of kits sold. You are always interested to know what will happen in the season following a record-breaking year and actually we are again breaking the records we set last year. We are really in a terrific place from a retail and merchandising perspective,” said the chief commercial officer.
Only four partners
“The conversations with New Balance are continuing and from our standpoint it is about having great partners and ensuring we are driving both businesses on either side of that relationship,” he said.
Hogan also pointed out that Liverpool’s kit partnerships have historically been lengthy:
“When you think of the kit partners we have had, there have only been four. Umbro, Adidas, Reebok and Warrior/New Balance. We have always enjoyed long-term relationships with our partners in the space.”
The extension with shirt sponsors Standard Chartered last summer also confirmed Liverpool view their commercial partnerships as important long-term relationships.
Hitachi, Candy and Carlsberg
Only five brands will have adorned the shirt in the 40 years since the sponsorship opportunity was created.
Hitachi became the first shirt sponsor in 1979, followed by Crown Paints, Candy and Carlsberg.
That fact that we were in a position with Standard Chartered to extend that relationship again is something that we are extremely proud of
Standard Chartered’s first deal started in 2010 and the current contract runs until the 2022/23 season.
“Our partners are incredibly important. They support the club in a meaningful way that allows us to invest in the team. In addition, we need to help them in their business pursuits as well, that is what we truly believe, it needs to work for both sides in a partnership. That fact that we were in a position with Standard Chartered to extend that relationship again is something that we are extremely proud of. This will mean by the end of this term we will be partners for 13 seasons, which is terrific and that speaks volumes about the connection and relationship we have with them,” he said.
Massive global fan base
Hogan explained that the focus of Standard Chartered is Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
“We have a massive global fan base and millions of fans in those regions and so from that standpoint it still has the opportunity to impact their business in a positive way. The relationship has also lasted as long as it has because we have a similar value set,” argued the chief commercial officer.
He said he felt it was also a great endorsement of the direction Liverpool are heading in, and added that “it speaks to the terrific relationship we have with them and we are delighted to renew with them.”
Liverpool’s deal with Danish brewery group Carlsberg, maker of the club’s official beer, is the club’s longest-standing partnership, having begun in 1992.