Liverpool nets Nike marketer to “globalise” brand

Liverpool FC has hired Nike’s UK marketing chief, Graham Bartlett, to lead their commercial team as the club steps up efforts to “globalise” their brand.

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Bartlett, currently sports marketing director of Nike’s UK and Ireland unit, will oversee the development of the club’s commercial partnerships, digital media channels, merchandising and licensing.

His appointment as commercial director is part of the Premier League club’s bid to match the global commercial success of rivals such as Manchester United and Real Madrid. Manchester City recently raised eyebrows by signing a massive ten-year partnership with Etihad Airways, said to be worth £400m.

Owners New England Sporting Ventures, which bought Liverpool in October, are keen to exploit the club’s popularity in regions such as the Far East and will likely look at forging commercial partnerships with local brands, while exploring ways to engage with fans of the club around the world through digital media.

Bartlett takes on the position vacant since Ian Ayre took on the managing director position at the club. Ayre says that Bartlett’s appointment means they have “all of the foundations in place to globalise our brand”.

He adds: “Graham’s experience across partnerships, brands, merchandise and media are perfect skill sets to help us achieve our commercial objectives”.

Prior to joining Nike in 2005, Bartlett was head of business development, business affairs and licensing at European football’s governing body, UEFA.

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