More bad PR > Anfield: the victims, the anger and Liverpool’s shameful truth

Anfield and Liverpool FC need to get back to producing some great community engagement and relations

Anfield and Liverpool FC need to get back to producing some great community engagement and relations

This excellent piece by David Conn from the Guardian shows that the lack of transparency can ultimately cause great distress and bad PR. With the world becoming social and more two-way than it’s ever been, it would be difficult to sweep anything like this under the carpet.

Fans are generally long forgotten in the great scheme of things, but this adds more woes to Liverpool’s overworked PR department.

As this has happened across three regimes of ownerships, it would be hard to pin who is to blame. Hopefully, they will come up with an appropriate response and get back to producing some really good community relations.

Get creative and get transparent.

What do you think?

Let me know: @StevenWoodgate

Liverpool FC’s Warrior Defeats Adidas

Liverpool FC has strengthened its Anglo-American relations by signing a six year deal with US sports firm Warrior, but at what price?

The US Company will produce Liverpool FC’s kit from June and replaced established worldwide firm Adidas in doing so. Traditionally, Warrior is associated with sports like ice hockey and lacrosse and its venture into English football shows how much interest the game is having across the pond. This announcement has come to light after fellow Premier League side, Tottenham Hotspur, agreed a deal for another US firm, Under Armour, would make its kit from 2012/12.

Liverpool has not yet disclosed the figure of the deal, with many quarters believing it to be around the £25 million pound mark – this would indicate that Liverpool, with much vested sponsor interest in Asia, will soon join Manchester United and Chelsea with regular trips to the US. This could lead to a hectic pre-season to say the least.

Last season Warrior became supplier to the Boston Red Sox, the baseball team that shares owners with Liverpool and will become its priority. More importantly for Warrior, owned by Boston based New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc, this deal represents the starting point for the company’s journey partnering with one of the biggest sides in the history of world football. As a first client, Liverpool is as big as it comes. Where Adidas has many clients in football, Warrior can devote its attention to promote the Liverpool brand, and promoting its products, worldwide.

Many stakeholders, more notably the fans, celebrate the rich heritage of the club and previous exploitation from American firms have gone down rather sourly. The club’s good name was dragged through the mud during the George Gillett and Tom Hicks disastrous spell as owners, and it wasn’t until John W. Henry’s timely invention that the fans recent fortunes have turned around

This agreement may have a lot of monetary value, but regardless of the where the money is coming from, Liverpool’s previous interpretations of Americans has somewhat disappeared. Liverpool financial health has been restored and this integral link with Warrior will undoubtedly provide the perfect springboard for the club to reap the benefits.

Adidas claimed that Liverpool’s asking price and their performance on the pitch didn’t match up. Club chief executive Ian Ayre seemed baffled by the claims though, saying: “We are disappointed that Adidas seem to point to a lack of European football as reason not to agree a new deal and cannot see that we are on a par with the biggest football brands in the world

“Warrior Sports will bring its own unique brand and ideas to the partnership, ensuring they can assist us at the club both on and off the field of play.”

This would add context with the club’s world appeal; however, more shockingly for Liverpool, Adidas’s decision not to extend their deal indicates that the club, especially with its on-field performances, is behind its rivals. Football is a results business and with the club not qualifying for the Champions League recently and without a trophy to speak of since victory in the FA Cup final in 2006, the club may not be as marketable as it once was.

From a PR perceptive, this move strengthens the club’s international unity and the current owners – Fenway Sports Group – can look after their important stakeholders.

Warrior will look to benefit financially as well, with the club’s jersey being one of the most sold worldwide, and with the investment, Liverpool will need to significantly improve on-field results to ensure these sponsors receive maximum coverage. If that is the case, Warrior will achieve great exposure to a number of potential clients, and then the big investment in Liverpool will become very beneficial.

For Liverpool, the club will receive a huge lump of income every year with a non-performance related agreement and it proves it can compete financially with the big boys despite the on-field struggles.

 

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