Premier League club Liverpool looks set to sign a five-year kit supplier contract with sportswear giants Nike after rival brand New Balance was unsuccessful in its final attempt to block the deal.
New Balance had filed a request to the Court of Appeal after the High Court ruled against the Boston-based company in its lawsuit against the club. New Balance has acted as Liverpool’s official kit supplier since the 2015-16 season.
According to a Ministry of Justice statement, this request has now been rejected, meaning the brand’s last remaining avenue to overturn the decision is now closed.
High Court judge, Mr Justice Teare had already rejected the brand’s first request for an appeal following the verdict in the initial trial.
Its argument was that a renewal clause meant the deal with Liverpool should be extended beyond its 2020 expiry date, claiming it could match the reported Nike offer of £30m, plus a twenty-per-cent royalty on net sales of Liverpool products.
However, Judge Teare concluded that the marketing reach of Nike was superior, citing their ability to utilise global superstars such as LeBron James, Serena Williams and Drake to promote its products.
Prior to the trial, John Shea, senior associate with law firm Lewis Silkin, told SportBusiness that New Balance was unlikely to be granted an appeal as the company would need to prove the judge in the initial ruling had made an error in either law or fact, or wrongly exercised his discretion in the verdict.
The Court of Appeal’s decision now means Liverpool are now set to enter an agreement with Nike, beginning at the start of the 2020-21 season.