t’s been on the cards for a while now, but today it’s finally been officially announced that Raheem Sterling is a New Balance man. The new relationship is set to extend far beyond the pitch as well, with the player and brand set to collaborate across both performance and lifestyle products.
Since his contract with Nike came to an end at the end of last season, Raheem Sterling has been one of the hottest properties on the market. But despite dabbling with PUMA, for large periods of this season he’s been playing in what certainly appeared to be New Balance Furon boots, leading to speculation that he was potentially going to join the brand. That was further fuelled when the brand liked a tweet showing a picture of Sterling wearing a pair of New Balance 327 sneakers with the caption ‘New Deal Done?’. Well now all that rumour and conjecture has been put to bed, with the announcement that Sterling has officially signed with New Balance.
Raheem Sterling on signing with New Balance: “Growing up all I dreamt of was playing football. From kicking a ball around in Brent with my mates to my first Champions League Final on May 29th and representing my country at this summer’s European Championships, in my hometown. There’s so much more I want to achieve, both on and off the pitch, and this partnership will provide me with the platform to do so.”
Sterling’s ability to transcend sport will also see him undertake an influential and pinnacle role across many different categories for New Balance, including lifestyle and creative design. Chris Davis, New Balance Chief Marketing Officer & Senior Vice President of Merchandising said: “At New Balance, we believe that our ambassadors are truly a reflection of our values as a brand. Simply put, this relationship is much bigger than football. Raheem is undoubtedly recognized as one of world football’s most premier talents evidenced by his key role for both club and country. His ambition to give back to the community will also be a focal point of how we realize the unique nature of this collaboration. Our transformative alliance will showcase co-authored product collections and storytelling, elevating Raheem’s unique persona both on and off the pitch.”
The capture of Sterling is obviously a huge statement for New Balance, and it comes as the next step in what has been one of the most impressive recruitment drives in recent memory. It has seen promising youngsters Bukayo Saka, Harvey Elliott and Eberechi Eze joining stalwart Sadio Mané at the brand, with the Liverpool man also signing a new long-term deal. Mané and Sterling up top with Saka, Elliott and Eze in support… makes for a mouthwatering attack in anyone’s book.
New Balance have been generous with their signature edition boots over the last couple of years, with Mané receiving several to honour special occasions or milestones – most recently to mark the signing of his new contract – and Rose Lavelle also being gifted several special versions of the Tekela. So the only surprise with Sterling getting his own is how quickly it has happened. As has been seen over the last couple of months, Sterling will wear the Furon v6+, and as part of the announcement the veil has officially been lifted from his special ‘RS’ signature edition. It features a white base with bespoke details on the heel along with a golden soleplate.