Thursday 19 January 2012

"You'll never walk alone" -- in adidas boots, at any rate

"You'll neeeee-veeer waaalk alone": the Anfield anthem
The news has broken today that British Premier League soccer team has been ditched by sponsors adidas in consequence of the club's recent run of poor results. Liverpool had been negotiating with adidas for a renewal of its lucrative kit sponsorship agreement, which has run from 2006, but the sports equipment supplier's chief executive Herbert Hainer said that the club had "overvalued their sponsorship worth", given their poor results on the pitch.

A new six-year sponsorship agreement has been struck with a US business which has very little profile in the UK, Warrier, the sum in question being said to be in the region of £150 million. Warrior is owned by New Balance.

This blogger can see why adidas is reluctant to pay to back a loser, though the supply of teams that are generally winners is very small -- a pool that is considerably smaller than the number of potential sponsors.  What will be interesting to discover is the overall impact on adidas of the adverse publicity surrounding the termination of its relationship with Liverpool.  The club's supporters are famed for their fervent passion, their extraordinary loyalty and their long memories, and they may not appreciate their team being spoken of in such irreverent terms.

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