Newcastle and Arsenal agreements can give Liverpool exactly what they want from Adidas kit deal

Nike have manufactured Liverpool's hits since the 2020/21 season
Nike have manufactured Liverpool's hits since the 2020/21 season -Credit:Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

It won’t be until early next year that Liverpool will be going public with just who will be the kit manufacturer from 2025/26, but they could well be making a change.

Liverpool’s current kit deal with Nike runs out at the end of next season, with Adidas poised to take over from 2025, according to a report by SportBusiness last month.

Liverpool were willing to head to the High Court to extricate themselves from a deal with New Balance back in 2019 and work with American sports apparel giant Nike, with the Reds successfully arguing that Nike’s global footprint could help them scale up revenues beyond the guaranteed sums that they would have been receiving from New Balance.

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That deal was reported to be around the £30m mark guaranteed annually, a sum considerably lower than what their rivals were receiving from their respective kit deals. But it was the 20% that the club received from the sales of Liverpool/Nike branded merchandise that provided the value boost, with that added extra thought to see the revenues rise to around the £60m to £65m mark.

Liverpool has remained tight-lipped over what happens next with regards to the tender process for the next kit supplier, insisting that it will be early next year when the process runs its course and is communicated, but conversations with Nike, Adidas, and Puma were all held, with Adidas reported to have been successful.

Next season’s Nike home shirt was revealed last week, and the partnership has seen the release of collaborations with Converse as well as a line of merchandise with Fenway Sports Group part-owner and basketball icon LeBron James.

Should Adidas be confirmed as the Reds’ next kit manufacturer then it is likely that they will be at least seeking parity with some of the biggest deals that have been struck in the Premier League, but it likely won’t be in line with what Manchester United currently have in place.

Last summer, United agreed to a kit deal extension of 10 years with Adidas, worth a reported £90m a year over the life of the deal. That figure puts them clear of their rivals, but it also carries some risk. The prices that kit manufacturers have been willing to pay have been growing considerably over the past decade, and what might seem like a good deal now might not appear to be so strong in five or six years, which is likely when Liverpool will be thinking about the next tender process beyond this current one.

Newcastle have enjoyed what is reported to be a jump from £5m per year with Castore to £30m with Adidas, and the likes of Arsenal are locked into a £75m per year deal with the same manufacturer. Manchester City receive £65m from Puma, Chelsea get £60m from a long-term deal with Nike that was agreed over 15 years back in 2016, and Tottenham Hotspur receive a reported £30m per year from Nike for another long-term deal.

For Liverpool, were they to return to receiving a larger guaranteed sum over a shorter period it is likely that they would be commanding something in between what Arsenal and Manchester United have been able to gain from their respective deals, with at least parity with Arsenal’s £75m expected. Given inflation and the nature of the market at present, that could well be around the £80m mark.

For Liverpool, should the move be confirmed, they would remain with a global sporting giant that has a strong direct-to-consumer and retail business, who can operate at scale and get product in the hands of fans globally, while achieving an uptick in terms of revenues at the same time, not locked in to potentially restrictive contracts.

Speaking to The Athletic last month, Liverpool commercial director Ben Latty said: “As for Nike, given the sheer volume of kit we produce around the world and the distribution related to a deal like that, there is a long path leading to those types of deals.

“We are having ongoing conversations with them. I can’t break any confidentiality in terms of where they are heading.”