Klopp links up with club sponsor’s rival
Manager signs Adidas deal as Liverpool launch Nike kit Endorsement follows lead set by Mourinho and Guardiola
Jurgen Klopp has signed a personal endorsement deal with Adidas that underlines his unique commercial appeal – in the same summer that Liverpool will begin their lucrative kit deal with the German sportswear company’s arch rival, Nike.
Klopp, 53, has become one of the game’s most marketable figures in the wake of the past two seasons at Liverpool in which he has delivered the Champions League and Premier League titles. The German coach has previously worn New Balance footwear on the touchline at Anfield – supplied by the club’s previous kit manufacturer.
It is anticipated that on the touchline Klopp will now wear Adidas trainers, the marquee brand of his home nation, instead of those of American sportswear giant Nike. The value of the deal is not known.
Nike and Adidas have long been engaged in a battle for commercial supremacy across the world game with the leading players tending to wear boots made by one of the two.
Endorsement deals for managers are rare, however, with Jose Mourinho one of the only other coaches with a long-term high-profile association with a major manufacturer – also Adidas. Pep Guardiola and Zinedine Zidane have also been ambassadors for Adidas during their coaching careers.
Klopp is an important figure for Adidas’s football brand, which includes, among others, Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, and David Beckham, and is a mainstay of Bayern Munich and the Germany national teams.
Klopp’s personality away from the game has also helped him become so marketable. His sense of humour as well as his willingness to engage in discussion away from football – Brexit and, more recently, the Government’s handling of the Covid crisis – has made him a relatable figure for sponsors and brands.
He has recently fronted a British campaign for the German beer Erdinger. In his coaching career in Germany, he was a familiar figure in commercial breaks, advertising cars, chocolate and biscuits. As well as his success at Mainz and then Borussia Dortmund, he was also a successful television pundit during the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
In October, Liverpool won a High Court battle to end their previous kit supplier contract with New Balance without that sportswear company being able to renew its deal by matching the terms the club had agreed with Nike. Under New Balance, Liverpool earned a guaranteed £45million a year.
The Nike deal guarantees around £30 million, but will offer much bigger rewards in the long term, the club believe, through its capability to generate greater sales.
The five-year Liverpool-Nike partnership will be the first between the two and the new home kit was released over the weekend.
Liverpool have also had two spells in partnership with Adidas as their kit manufacturer, from 1985 to 1996 and then from 2006 to 2012.
Game for a laugh: Jurgen Klopp’s personality off the pitch has boosted his marketability