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Liverpool have added a key appointment behind the scenes as they seek to grow the revenues of the club further in the coming years.
Owners Fenway Sports Group have hired Michael Higham, ex-head of sponsorship at Spanish La Liga side Sevilla, to the newly-created role of partnership development director, with the former Arsenal and Manchester United employee tasked with growing the Reds' sponsorship portfolio alongside the existing commercial team, according to Sport Business.
Higham, who was previously partner services manager at Arsenal and relationship manager at Manchester United, where he maintained and developed commercial partnerships with each club, arrives at Anfield from Roc Nation, the US entertainment agency that was founded by billionaire hip-hop mogul Jay-Z back in 2008.
Higham joined Roc Nation, where he held the role of senior director of commercial partnerships, at the start of 2021 having left his role at Sevilla to take up the position.
Higham's time in Spain saw him key in the sponsorship deals with Valvoline, Marathonbet, Uber, EverFX, MyHeritage, TLC Bet, Vueling, FC Energia and Betfair, as well as the Nike kit deal extension.
He was also project lead on Sevilla's US summer tour in 2019, a tour where Sevilla faced Liverpool at Fenway Park, the home of the FSG-owned Boston Red Sox.
At Roc Nation, Higham's remit was to focus on commercial opportunities for the company's sporting roster, including Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne, Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku, rugby player Maro Itoje, Aston Villa's Tyrone Mings and, previously, Marcus Rashford.
He was also the lead commercial contact for Roc Nation clients such as AC Milan and Sale Sharks and played a key role in the strategic consulting deal with the United Rugby Championship, the tournament previously known as Pro14.
Higham started his role with the Reds at the beginning of this month and will seek to aid commercial director Matt Scammell and his team as they seek to add new commercial partnerships to the club over the coming year to drive revenues forward.
Liverpool will publish their 2021 accounts over the next couple of months, and while the impact of the pandemic and a season of football played behind closed doors will likely see heavier losses than the £46m pre-tax loss posted in 2020, the commercial side of the club has made strides forward and is expected to growing thanks to the first impact of the Nike deal and other partnerships struck with AXA and Expedia during the last accounting period. Last year's commercial revenues jumped £29m to £217m.
Speaking to the ECHO, Scammell said : "If you look back at the number of partnerships that we've launched over the last 12 months, I think it has been one of if not the most successful years for Liverpool in terms of the number of partnerships that we have brought on board.
"I'm not going to go into the commercials behind those, but commercially for the club it has been a strong year.
"That isn't by accident, good things don't happen by accident and that is all about demonstrating the value that we can bring to those partners.
"The world of global sponsorship is very sophisticated, brands don't make a decision now because, let's say, the CEO is a supporter of Liverpool. They have to do it for all the right reasons for their business and how it will align with their business, and I'm pleased to say we are doing that in spades.
"We have had some really strong success over this past year in terms of demonstrating the difference that we can make to brands, that has lead to us bringing more partners on board, in some cases bigger brands that will not only be strong but enduring partnerships.
"I'm proud of what the team has been able to deliver this past year. Only last week we made two new announcements and I think as we get deeper into the new season I'm optimistic that there will be more partnerships that join the club. From a commercial perspective we are doing very well at the moment."
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-gb/finance/other/fsg-make-key-hire-behind-scenes-as-former-manchester-united-man-joins-liverpool/ar-AASCWiq2614