Liverpool’s new Nike range of first-team kits have (as usual) divided opinion among the fanbase, but overall sales suggest they seem to be big wins with supporters.
The Reds ended their partnership with New Balance at the end of 2019/20 in favour of starting up with the sportswear giants Nike and some results were quickly seen as to why the club chose that direction.
LeBron James was pictured wearing a shirt soon after the home kit’s release, an early example of how the worldwide branding was sure to be on the up.
Now the club have confirmed that the new kits have all broken club records for sales, with each of the home, away and third jerseys showing “significant sales numbers”.
The official online store point to record traffic numbers on launch day, as well as purchases being higher, while the ‘Nike Express lifestyle collection’ has also been a big success.
Pleasingly, there’s also a collaborative effort between club and kit-maker to ensure a few locals get their hands on the kit. One hundred youngsters who have “made a difference to the community” were selected through their schools to receive the new kits, while there have also been efforts to encourage local coaching education and other initiatives since the Liverpool x Nike link-up.
The club’s claim of record kit sales is in contrast to recent local reports, with the Echo‘s Paul Gorst suggesting the Reds were down 12 per cent compared to last year and down 30 per cent on the goalkeeper kit.
It hasn’t all been plain-sailing, though, with the kit selling out in certain sizes – though this is in part due to stock shortfalls caused by coronavirus interrupting supply chains, according to Mike Cox, the club’s merchandising vice president, and new lines are on the way soon.
“This hugely significant demand has caused some operational complexities for us as we continue to operate under COVID-19 conditions, and it has also meant that we have sold out of some key home kit sizes.
“However, we’re working very closely with Nike on this and expect to receive a re-stock in October. We thank our supporters for their support and patience.”
The record sales point to further growth for the Reds, with these non-matchday revenue streams particularly important in 2020 with no supporters allowed inside the ground on matchdays at present.