Liverpool’s shirt sponsors Reebok are about to be taken over by German company Adidas in a deal worth around £2billion. Adidas and Reebok are currently ranked second and third in the industry behind Nike, and the move is designed to close the gap.
The deal was described by Adidas as a friendly takeover and will more than double Adidas’s sales in North America. The deal needs to be approved by Reebok shareholders and competition and antitrust authorities.
Adidas expect the deal to be finalised early next year.
Liverpool’s relationship with Reebok followed on from a long-term tie-up with Adidas. The merger will make a difference when it comes to the next round of negotiations over shirt sponsorship, as there will be less competition. Perhaps most concerned about the impact in English football will be Bolton Wanderers, who not only have shirt sponsorship from Reebok, but also stadium sponsorship.
There’s no word yet in terms of whether the Reebok brand name will disappear or wether it will continue as part of the Adidas portfolio. Liverpool’s current home kit is due to be replaced anyway next summer.