|Headquarters||Warren, Michigan, United States|
|North America, Europe, Asia|
(President & CEO)
|Products||Sportswear, sports equipment|
Warrior Sports is an American manufacturer of lacrosse, ice hockey and soccer equipment and clothing based in Warren, Michigan. Warrior entered the soccer market in 2012, producing kits and training equipment for several clubs around the world, although the soccer sponsorship and products are set to be discontinued with its parent company New Balance's entry into the category.
Warrior Sports was founded in 1992 by David Morrow, a former lacrosse player. The company name is derived from Morrow's roots as a member of the Brother Rice Lacrosse team, the Warriors, in Birmingham, Michigan. The company started out as the first manufacturer of titanium lacrosse shafts, which changed the game due to their strength and light weight. Morrow went on to highlight the breakthrough shaft as he played for the Princeton Tigers lacrosse team. He also went on to be the NCAA player of the year. In 2004, the privately held company, New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. obtained controlling interest in Warrior. One year later, Warrior moved into the ice hockey industry when it acquired California–based manufacturer Innovative Hockey.
Beginning in July 2012, Warrior Lacrosse embroiled itself in controversy by launching a Twitter marketing campaign for which users were entered into a raffle to win a free pair of shoes if they used the hashtag #ninjaplease. The campaign has been widely derided throughout the industry and in the lacrosse world. As Warrior was a founding factor in Major League Lacrosse (MLL) and sponsors all teams, some African-American players in the league have protested, with the possibility of retiring from the league should the controversy not be handled appropriately. Warrior suspended the campaign and the MLL removed all references to it on 29 October 2012 when the meaning of the hashtag used in the campaign came to the attention of officials of both organizations.
In April 2012, Warrior Sports reportedly signed a sponsorship agreement for Liverpool worth £25 million per season as of the 2012–13 season while Carlsberg reduced their annual sponsorship to just half of last year, overtaking the English club record of £23.3 million paid by Nike for supplying Manchester United and the previous deal from Adidas worth £13 million. On 18 January 2012, Liverpool and Warrior Sports announced a deal between the two organisations, whereby Warrior became the Liverpool kit sponsor effective from 1 June 2012. The new Liverpool home kits were launched on the official Liverpool website on 11 May 2012 and were notable for their classic design and a return to a more simplified club badge. The design was welcomed by most fans but has angered some. This is due to the new kit moving the traditional commemorative symbol for the Hillsborough disaster from the front to the back of the kit.
On 5 June 2013, the new Liverpool away kit was launched for the 2013–14 season. Described as "possibly one of the worst football kits of all time," its reception was overwhelmingly negative, both in the press and from the fans, who quickly took to social media to express their dislike of it.
In February 2015, parent company New Balance announced it was entering the global soccer market. As part of the move, all clubs and players sponsored by Warrior would be outfitted by New Balance while Warrior would go back to just hockey and lacrosse going forward.
- "What I Like.... With Warrior Sports Founder, President & CEO Dave Morrow", SportBusiness Daily, 17 March 2011
- "About Warrior". Warrior Sports. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
- "Warrior History". Warrior Sports. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
- Wilson, Connor (9 November 2012). "When Marketing Goes Awry: #NinjaPlease". Lacrosse All Stars.
- Foy, Terry (9 November 2012). "Jovan Miller, Warrior Respond to 'Dojo' Campaign, Mainstream Media Attention". Inside Lacrosse.
- "Liverpool's mammoth £25m-a-year Warrior kit deal rewrites the record books". London: Daily Mail. 22 April 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
- Abelson, Jenn. "New Balance unit in deal with Liverpool FC". Boston.com. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- Harris, Rob (13 May 2011). "Liverpool plans to reclaim record from Manchester United". Associated Press. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- "Liverpool signs new kit deal with US firm Warrior". BBC News. 19 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- "Our new home kit for 2012-13". Liverpool FC. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- "BBC Sport — Liverpool kit launch sparks anger among Hillsborough families". 11 May 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
- "Liverpool new kits should already win worst of the year - | FOX Soccer Blog | FOX Soccer on MSN | FOX Sports on MSN". Blog.foxsoccer.com. Retrieved 2014-08-16.
- Jamie Sanderson (2013-06-04). "Liverpool kit leak: 'Horrendous' away and third-choice kits for 2013/2014 revealed and slammed by fans on Twitter | Metro News". Metro.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-16.
- Curtis, Ben (2013-06-05). "New Liverpool away kit design: Merseyside club unveil latest strip for 2013/14 season - Mirror Online". Mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-08-16.
- "Liverpool away kit unveiled: is this why Luis Suarez wants to quit? | News | The Week UK". Theweek.co.uk. 2013-06-05. Retrieved 2014-08-16.
- This article was first posted on February 10, 2013 (2013-02-10). "Liverpool: New 2013/14 Kits Revealed & They're Awful". Whatculture.com. Retrieved 2014-08-16.
- June 5, 2013 (2013-06-05). "warrior football". Damianpriday.com. Retrieved 2014-08-16.
- Badenhausen, Kurt (February 4, 2015). "New Balance Challenges Nike And Adidas With Entry Into Global Soccer Market". Forbes. Retrieved 2015-02-04.
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