Liverpool Football Club has added to its growing list of commercial sponsors by agreeing a three-year deal with Joie, the club's first family partner and global baby gear partner.

This latest deal is one of many the club has struck in recent years, with Joie becoming Liverpool FC’s 13th official partner. Interestingly, nine of these partners have been acquired since the club opened a new office in London in October 2014. Of Liverpool FC’s partners prior to Fenway Sports Group's takeover in 2010, only Maxxis, Standard Chartered and MBNA still remain.


Since taking over the club, FSG have demonstrated their commercial capability by significantly expanding Liverpool FC’s partnership portfolio. Over the last few years, the club has agreed sponsorship deals with an array of companies – some arguably more conventional than others.


Recent deals have included Nivea Men, Malaysia Airlines, Chinese automotive firm MG Auto, Thai coconut water brand Chaokoh and Dunkin Donuts. Whether these deals have largely enhanced or damaged the Liverpool FC brand is up for debate. The Nivea adverts featuring the manager and players which made national television were a playful, if unconventional, representation of the club, but there has also been controversy with other partners along the way. However, in 2015, Dunkin Donuts was forced to apologise after the Hillsborough memorial flames on the club's crest were replaced with coffee cups as part of a Twitter campaign. 


On a financial level, recent figures speak volumes of the importance of Liverpool FC’s commercial deals in enabling the club to compete with the Premier League’s top teams. A recent study from Deloitte showed that, of the £302 million in revenue which Liverpool FC generated in 2016, 39% of the revenue was commercial. Only the two Manchester clubs relied more heavily on commercial income as a source of revenue. Furthermore, Liverpool FC’s commercial income for 2016 was higher than Arsenal’s and only £3million lower than Chelsea’s, showing that the club are capable of standing toe to toe with the so-called ‘big boys’ commercially.


However, there is another argument to be made that expanding the club into more unconventional markets – take Chaokoh as an example – could be perceived as FSG 'selling out' the brand. It could also be suggested that the money involved in Liverpool FC’s recent commercial deals could have been used to invest in the players needed to mount a serious title challenge this season.


What are your thoughts on Liverpool FC’s latest commercial deal and where do you stand on the FSG debate? Let us know in the Comments section below.