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Liverpool Gives New Balance Chance to Score as 200 Million Watch

  • Champions League finalist eschewed leaders Adidas, Nike, Puma
  • New Balance flagship brand has only been in soccer since 2015
Picture shows detail of jerseys badges of Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC football teams in Madrid on May 21, 2018. - Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC football teams will play the UEFA Champions League final match in Kiev on May 26, 2018. (Photo by Benjamin CREMEL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BENJAMIN CREMEL/AFP/Getty Images)
Picture shows detail of jerseys badges of Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC football teams in Madrid on May 21, 2018. - Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC football teams will play the UEFA Champions League final match in Kiev on May 26, 2018. (Photo by Benjamin CREMEL / AFP) (Photo credit should read BENJAMIN CREMEL/AFP/Getty Images)Photographer: BENJAMIN CREMEL/AFP

Some of the 200 million soccer fans watching Real Madrid battle Liverpool FC in Saturday’s Champions League final are in for a surprise: The English club’s jerseys bear not a triple stripe or a swoosh, but a tilted NB.

Liverpool is one of just a handful of major teams sponsored by New Balance Athletics Inc., the Boston-based sportswear company better known for running shoes. While its larger rivals Adidas AG and Nike Inc. have scores of top teams and provide cleats to most players in Europe’s top leagues, the Reds even making it to the final of soccer’s biggest club competition is a great return on the marketing dollars spent by billionaire Jim Davis’s closely held company.