A few short months ago, Liverpool FC, under the new American ownership of Fenway Sports Group, shocked the football world by contracting relative unknown Warrior Sports as their new kit supplier. The 6-year deal was for an unprecedented amount, and left many questions unanswered: Who are Warrior Sports? Where did they come from? How does a company with no experience in European football expect to produce a kit for one of the most historic, successful, and highest grossing football clubs in the world? As the June 1st launch of the new Liverpool Shirt grows nearer, so does the interest into this new player in our world of football shirts.
Warrior Sports was founded in 1992 by entrepreneur David Morrow, also known for being a USA World Team lacrosse defenseman and co-founder of Major League Lacrosse. The company was born from Morrow’s application of titanium for lacrosse stick shafts, replacing the conventional aluminum shafts that frequently bent during games. The name Warrior Sports (which began as Warrior Lacrosse) stems from David’s high school alma mater, the Brother Rich High School Warriors. Morrow sold the company to New Balance in January 2004, but remains the CEO and president.
In 2005 Warrior Sports branched into ice hockey when it acquired Innovative Hockey, a manufacturer based in California. In 2007, they entered the soccer market when they acquired Brine Sporting Goods, a well-known US manufacturer of goalkeeper gloves, soccer balls and shin-guards. On January 19th, 2012, they made history, when it was announced they would become the new official kit supplier for Liverpool FC. The £25 million per year deal is the most lucrative in English history, surpassing the £23.5 million per year Nike pay to Manchester United.
Liverpool fans have every reason to expect great things from this new partnership. Warrior Sports have shown repeatedly through the rapid growth of their business that they have a knack for employing the right individuals to make the right decisions. One need only look at their line of hockey and lacrosse uniforms to see cutting edge innovation in design and color, to be very excited about what the design department at Warrior may have in store for The Reds.
But for now, the world waits for June 1st, 2012, for a look at one of the most anticipated news kits in football history, and the culmination of the kit deal that rocked the EPL to its core.