Dunkin’ Donuts Brings Some Coolatta Action to Liverpool
John Henry’s soccer team’s big, caffeinated sponsorship deal is almost too perfect for words.
If you’ve been following Premier League soccer this season, then you know that after a half-decade in the wilderness, Liverpool FC is in fourth place and solidly competing for a spot in the mega all-Europe Champions League. You’d also know that Fenway Sports Group’s marquee soccer franchise boasts a scoring-machine striker named Luis Suarez, who is en route to becoming one of the best players in the world. You may also know that John Henry is traveling to Liverpool this weekend, not only to catch the match against Aston Villa, but also to talk with manager Brendan Rodgers about the budget for buying new players during the January transfer window.
And yet, all of that pales in comparison to Thursday’s announcement that Dunkin’ Brands—parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins—has signed a huge sponsorship deal with Liverpool FC.
With this multimillion-dollar, multiyear deal, Dunkin’ Donuts will be the official provider of coffee, tea, and baked goods—Baskin-Robbins will handle the ice cream—at Anfield, Liverpool FC’s home stadium. The team unveiled the deal on its website, with a surreal tableau featuring Reds’ legend Ian Rush and current midfielder Philippe Coutinho holding up a Liverpool jersey with the name “Dunkin’ Donuts” and the squad number 14 on the back. (Midfielder Jordan Henderson, who actually wears No. 14, wasn’t present to celebrate his number being used to promote crullers and Coolattas.) If this doesn’t seem curious or at least vaguely comical, then imagine if the roles were reversed with Jim Rice and Dustin Pedroia promoting Pukka steak-and-kidney pies.
It’s already been way too easy for soccer fans to mock the new Liverpool/Dunkin’ cabal. Bleacher Report has compiled some of the best jokes and tweets about the deal, while some online commenters have gone so far as to side with Krispy Kreme. Of course, the season would be shot to hell if the food chain’s slogan were modified to “Liverpool Runs On Dunkin'” and the players took it literally.
On a more serious note, Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre says the funds coming in will help buy players in the transfer windows, now and in the future, which is great to hear. That being said, as various UK papers have pointed out, this is the only deal the team has made so far this winter, despite being linked to such promising players as Basel’s Mohamed Salah. Who knows, perhaps after Henry and Rodgers meet over some, uh, coffee this weekend, we’ll learn how much the team will spend and who they’ll spend it on. With the team on the brink of getting back to the world’s elite, they’d better make some decisions soon. Otherwise, no amount of Red Velvet Drizzles and Dunkaccinos will satisfy the Liverpool fans.