How David Beckham Became a Brand

When David Beckham visited the Amazon in 2016 he said it was one of the only places in the world he hadn’t been recognized. And that’s pretty unusual for someone who gets this type of reception almost everywhere he goes. To play soccer, like David Beckham This is the story of how David Beckham became one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Even though he retired from soccer five years ago, David Beckham’s image is still as powerful as ever. The Beckhams have an estimated net worth of $450 million, but more than that they have an influence most brands dream of. I don’t think we could understate how many times we’ve seen David Beckham’s image and how much, by sheer repetition, it’s been printed on our minds. Robert Williams is Bloomberg’s luxury and
retail reporter based in Paris. From airport billboards to TV commercials to glossy magazine ads, it’s just an effect of recognisability that’s been built up over the years. People assume that I’ve got so many brands, but I actually haven’t. We’ve got quite a few. Those few make up a wide base of products and partnerships including whisky, watches, charities and more. The other thing to say about Brand Beckham is that it is very much a phenomenon of its time. Andy Milligan is a brand consultant who wrote the book on Brand Beckham. Celebrities can become brands in a very potent way, sometimes in a more meaningful and relevant way than traditional products because
at the heart of a personality brand there is a human story which is constantly fascinating and evolving. And Beckham isn’t just selling himself, his
whole family is part of the story. Victoria Beckham has created a critically
acclaimed luxury fashion label. In 2017 she received a $40 million investment from a former Goldman Sachs banker, valuing the business at around $130 million. Victoria set the pace for this couple and
really positioning herself as an entrepreneur and not just as a model or someone who does endorsements. The Beckham children are part of the brand too. As well as modelling contracts and book deals, each child’s name is trademarked which means only the Beckham’s can use their names on products. All of this is a contrast to David Beckham’s own modest childhood growing up in east London. Though never compared to the likes of Pelé or Maradona, it was Beckham’s drive which made him stand out early on. He went and got for himself one of the most prestigious sports marketing companies, whose clients in those days included people like Alan Shearer and Michael Owen, very high profile footballers. He got them at an early stage in his life
and I think that was the first sign of intent. And like all good success stories, timing
was key. Beckham made his league debut for Manchester United when he was 19. Just a few years earlier the establishment
of the English Premier League had created a significant increase in viewership both
at home and abroad. He just happened to be the right man at the right time. If he’d been in football even 10 years earlier, I’m sure he would have been successful but he wouldn’t have had nowhere near the opportunities
to make such an impact as he did during the ’90s. Beckham quickly realized he could create value with his image. In 2002 when asked why contract negotiations
were taking so long, he put it down to one thing – image rights – payments made by the
club for the right to use anything related to the Beckham brand – his name, face, even the way he kicked a ball. While he wasn’t the first footballer to receive
such payments, the earnings were significant and alongside his endorsements made him
the world’s highest paid soccer player. Photographer: David just to your left. This was all part of what Andy calls the “earn
till you burn” model. Trying to bank as much money as possible before
retirement. His first deal with hairstyling brand Brylcreem
was worth £1 million and created a 50% surge in sales. Photographer: Sit up straight, David. [Laughs] This was followed by deals with more global
brands like Pepsi, Adidas and Gillette. Unlike other footballers he also extended
his image beyond the pitch too – including a £20 million deal with Armani in 2007 which
attracted a great deal of attention. It is a rare man who can be that tough on
the field and also have his own line of underwear. [Laughs] He took a big risk early in his career by
showing his interest in fashion, his willingness to be a bit daring with his look at a time when that wasn’t necessarily attached to masculine role models. It’s not something that athletes were willing
to risk their image on before. It’s come down to three consistent things
through which the Beckham brand is delivered. It’s football, it’s fashion, and I’d call
it, it’s feel good but he takes risks inside those. The risks seems to have paid off. A couple of years after his retirement, Beckham
earned £45 million. That was more than 13 times as much as he was
paid in his last year as a footballer and more than any former athlete in the world
apart from Michael Jordan. But football is still the focus. It’s been confirmed that David Beckham is
to start a soccer franchise in Miami. During his move to LA Galaxy in 2007 his contract
included the option for him to buy a Major League Soccer team for $25 million at the
end of his career. A smart deal sweetener now that expansion
teams cost six times that. Today you made my dream come true. And all of this secures Beckham’s brand exposure
in soccer and the US for the foreseeable future. There’s a legacy being built there that will
survive David Beckham, and actually that is the ultimate testament to the way he’s thinking,
and indeed, to the way that really good brands and brand owners think. Proof perhaps that this is a brand that relies
on more than just a pretty face.

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19 thoughts on “How David Beckham Became a Brand

  1. What i learnt from the video is that he is not just an extraordinary player, but he's a great businessman as well

  2. David Beckham is 1. Thorough boring 2. An ass – just read his leaked emailed, he doesn't care about his sponsors he's trying to buy honours. 3. Also an overrated footballer.

  3. The only reason beckham was bought by madrid was advertisment also the mls grew famous cause of beckham

  4. Genius business man indeed. People hate on him coz they are jealous. "Boohoo i dont have a pretty face or football skills, david sucks."

  5. awkward moment when England created and used the word "Soccer" First. So fuck off with saying "it's football, not soccer"

  6. His sons do NOT look anything like models. Like fair enough decent looking guys I’m not hating🙏🏽But they aren’t model standard

  7. Yes he has lots of money.
    But he is also extremely confident. Something you can do regardless of money and makes the difference.
    Most unsuccessful people lack confidence.

  8. I won't be able to recognize Beckham if he were to visit my country incognito, without all his celebrity fanfare. He'd look just like another white man to me.

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