Influencers don’t just make or break a brand. Their power is seemingly growing.
But they can have massive effects on the awareness and reach of brands.
Now it is being evidenced in court proceedings.
New Balance vs Liverpool FC
Supplier and Retailer vs Copyright holder
The sponsorship agreement between New Balance and Liverpool included a clause that meant that if they couldn’t agree a renewal then Liverpool could negaotiate with another sponsor, however, New Balance had the opportunity to meet any agreement had in place with the new sponsor.
When Liverpool signed with Nike, New Balance agreed to match the terms as they were able to by the matching clause.
The club responded to New Balance stating that it didn’t think that their response was a genuine matched offer.
The court case came down to a single clause on each offer.
Nike will “market LFC and/or Licensed Products through marketing initiatives featuring not less than three (3) non-football global superstar athletes and influencers of the calibre of Lebron James, Serena Williams, Drake, etc.…….;”
New Balance will market LFC through “not less than three non-football global superstar athletes and influencers”
Distribution. Payments. Everything else was matched.
Except 10 words.
“of the calibre of Lebron James, Serena Williams, Drake, etc.…….;”
By failing to nominate specifics New Balance lost out.
But it shows the power that influencers now have, not just in selling products but also as a makeweight in multi-million-pound commercial agreements. Especially now that the marketability of these influencers is now more measurable than in the past. Even New Balance identified this when placing a value on the social media presence and exposure of the club and certain players.
The power of influencers is growing and I think their use as makeweights in large scale commercial deals will only increase.