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Liverpool clarifies kit deal and launches online store in Japan

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 09: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Mohamed Salah of Liverpool scores the third goal and celebrates during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield on February 9, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

English Premier League club Liverpool has confirmed a two-month extension of its kit supply deal with New Balance to cover the extended 2019-20 season.

The club switches kit supplier to Nike from next season. In a statement on its website, Liverpool said it had mutually agreed with New Balance and Nike that the current deal, which was due to end on May 31, will be extended due to the Premier League being suspended as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Nike’s term, originally due to commence on June 1, will now begin on August 1.

After winning a legal tussle with the incumbent supplier New Balance, Liverpool signed Nike as its official kit supplier from the 2020-21 season for a basic fee of £30m (€33.7m/$37.5m) per season.

Under the multi-year partnership, Nike will manufacture and supply Liverpool’s playing, training and travel wear for its men’s, women’s and Academy squads, as well as coaching staff and the Liverpool FC Foundation.

As well as its £30m-per-year fee, Nike is giving Liverpool a 20-per-cent royalty on net sales of replica sportswear being manufactured under the deal.

Documents revealed during the New Balance court case showed Liverpool had received pre-orders from 8,000 stores around the world, while Nike has reserved factory space to produce 2.9 million units.

Also today, Liverpool unveiled an official online retail store concept in Japan, in conjunction with in-market partner Kamo. The new portal will provide fans in Japan access to the full range of replica kit and authentic Liverpool FC merchandise, apparel and fashion accessories.

The signing of Japanese international Takumi Minamino, Liverpool’s first Asian player, in January 2020 has helped raise the Merseyside club’s profile in Japan.

Mike Cox, LFC’s senior vice president, merchandising, said: “We’re delighted to be able to offer Reds in Japan the opportunity to feel closer to Anfield through our new official online store. I’ve been able to see first-hand how passionate our fanbase is here and, as one of the world’s premier shopping destinations, it’s an exciting opportunity for the club to connect with supporters in the region.”

Liverpool’s current list of sponsors and partners in Asia includes NH Foods of Japan, Thai coconut water supplier Chaokoh of Thailand, and Extra Joss, a health supplement provider from Indonesia.