Beckham brand tipped to soar as sponsors pay tribute
Adidas is the first of David Beckham’s sponsors to laud his achievements as an international footballer after the former Manchester United player called time on his 20-year career. Sponsorship experts predict the move will not dent the footballer’s commercial worth and his appeal to brands will continue to grow away from the football pitch.
The 38-year-old, who has won 19 trophies, revealed earlier today (16 May) he is to retire at the end of the current season after declining to extend his contract with current employers and French champions Paris St Germain.
Long-term sponsor Adidas took to Twitter to mark the news with a tactical tweet saying: “David Beckham - always #allin. The post links to a close-up of the star’s Predator football boots with the brand’s global slogan “always all in” (se picture).
Fellow sponsors Sainsbury’s and Samsung said there were no immediate plans to follow in Adidas’ footsteps and run tactical campaigns, while H&M declined to comment.
The former England captain, who won the Champions League with United in 1999, also achieved domestic titles with Real Madrid, AC Milan and LA Galaxy before winning his final title earlier this year in France.
During this time, the athlete maximised the power of the “Beckham Brand” with a string of high-profile deals that helped to boost his global appeal. He recently penned a £50m five-year deal to be an ambassador for the Chinese Super League and is fronting Sainsbury’s move into the sports sponsorship arena.
Beckham pipped Barcelona’s Lionel Messi to be crowned the richest player in the world in March according to the Goal Rich List with a personal fortune of £175m. Recent deals with Sainsbury’s and BSkyB are set to see his commercial wealth swell further over the next year.
Sponsorship experts say that despite Beckham’s retirement from football his “phenomenal” earning power will not slow down.
Gordon Lott, former Lloyds London 2012 Olympic marketer and managing director of Havas Sports & Entertainment UK, says: “In the future I would expect him to play an even bigger role in promoting social agendas, which I expect will also be part of his newly announced partnership with Sky. Beckham will still play a pivotal role in helping brands connect with consumers and sports fans for a number of years to come.”
Charlie Dundas, UK and Ireland managing director at sports marketing agency Repucom adds: “In retirement Beckham will also have more time to develop his brand and the projects that are close to his heart. I’d expect increased visibility and it will be interesting to see whether he simply continues with his current brand partnerships, focuses on charity or continues to inspire a new generation of kids.”
The news comes a week after Beckham’s former manager Sir Alex Ferguson ended his 27-year reign at United.