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Liverpool could play with two different technical sponsors in the same season

The effects of coronavirus could also affect sponsorship contracts

Liverpool could play with two different technical sponsors in the same season The effects of coronavirus could also affect sponsorship contracts

*** UPDATE 31/3 ***
The sensational assumptions for a double technical sponsor of Liverpool - and other European teams - were more than well founded. There is an irrefutable date on the new contract between the Reds and the Oregon brand. Although now New Balance and Liverpool are at loggerheads (especially after losing the lawsuit), Nike has preferred not to take over and let the 2019-2020 season end with the "NB" logo on the English team's game kits. The news comes from The Athletic, who had the opportunity to deal with a "senior" Nike source and who said: "Legally, we were in a position to enforce the contract, as the date of June 1st is clearly indicated, but it was decided that it would not be right to rush and take over. Things worked out very cordially. This was always the plan that Liverpool had in mind: to start wearing Nike with the start of the 2020-21 season. It is right to leave the rest of this season in New Balance. We are very focused on the next season."

The virus is causing a series of chain reactions that could leave long-term aftermath and complications. On a sports-football level, one of the most complex situations is how to be able to conclude the suspended championships, leaving the companies the time necessary to register for the following year within the deadline, which will most likely be extended until 30 of June. To get to this date at the end of the championship, there will still be a need for a "reduced" formula, at least to be able to decree the participants in the cups and relegations and, to remedy the problem, the league has already proposed valid solutions including the introduction of the playoffs and the proposal to play 2 games a week from the beginning of May, provided that the championships can start again.

Another of the chained problems that would arise is how the eventual postponement of the championships could affect the sponsorship contracts, technical and otherwise, which should end this year: every year, for the last 2-3 championship days, some brands, especially those who can make long-term planning due to the ongoing contract, already provide their teams with the uniforms of the following season, in order to officially anticipate the trends to their fans and thus create hype.

There are instead cases in which, for obvious reasons of brand change, a team is forced to end the season with a brand and then start the next one with the new one.

We assume that the current season, which was supposed to end on May 24th, could last until June 30th. Suppose the case in which the technical sponsorship contracts must end around June 15, the date on which - without coronavirus - the season should have already ended for 3 weeks. And let's also assume that Bologna, Fiorentina, Sampdoria and Parma, teams with expiring technical sponsorship contracts, have in the meantime reached agreements with other brands for the '20 / '21 season and that they are on the runoff for the playoffs or for the playouts.

We would meet to see a championship where, for the first time in the same season, some teams would play with two different technical sponsors. In addition, the issue related to the approval of fonts of names and numbers would lead to even more complicated situations, which would literally skyrocket collectors of rare memorabilia:

  • Hypothesis A, for a club that will not change its technical sponsor, for example Juventus, this situation could arise: final of season 19/20 with jersey of season 20/21 but with its own font and main sponsor of season 19/20; start of the 20/21 season with 20/21 kit but with ''standardized'' fonts and main sponsors.

  • Hypothesis B, for a team like Fiorentina, which could change its technical sponsor by switching to Kappa, it could happen that: the 19/20 season ends with the Kappa kit (and not LeCoq Sportif) of the 20/21 season but with fonts and main sponsor of the 19/20 season, while the 20/21 season will begin with the kit already used in the previous season but with ''approved'' fonts and sponsors.

As far as the Italian championship is concerned, these are only assumptions, given that no technical sponsor contracts have yet been signed that can lead us to draw real conclusions about it.

Fortunately, we also have a more concrete example: Liverpool. The four-year contract between New Balance and the Reds will expire on May 31, 2020, the date on which the Premier League, even in the event of a playoff, may not have ended. So starting from June, Liverpool could already take the field with the new Nike kit, concretizing hypothesis B, namely that of being able to see a team playing with two different brands during the same season.

We tried to imagine what this year's and next year's jerseys would look like if all these possibilities occurred.