David Beckham retires from football– but his global marketability remains the same
Beckham, who has played football in England, Spain, Italy, America and France, last week became the first English player to have won four domestic titles in four different countries. He bows out of the game having achieved 19 major trophies including 10 league titles and scoring or providing assists in more than half of his 534 top-flight games.
That is the footballing side of Beckham. Not bad at all.
The other side of him is equally impressive, too. His face stretches across multiple industries including Pepsi adverts, supermarkets, perfumes and underwear to football academies and ambassadorial roles in China and America. Not to mention the recent speculation that he is to buy an entire Major League Soccer Club – something to keep him busy during his retirement?
Beckham has managed to engulf the global stage and become one of the world’s most recognisable people. Mention him from Beijing or Shanghai, Nairobi, Ghana, South Africa or Mumbai.
One of the earliest celebs
Captaining England, marrying a Spice Girl and being dubbed Posh and Becks, playing for two of the world’s biggest teams (Man United and Real Madrid) and moving across the Atlantic to LA hasn’t hampered his global success. The timing of his success however, in an era where the media world was just beginning to accustom itself to celebrities on a level never seen before, launched Becks to a new found level of stardom.
This phenomenon has seen Beckham become a global icon and someone who can change fashion trends by simply changing the style of his hair, or a diamond earring. He has arguably been able to extend his football career through his mass marketing potential. Clubs often want to invest in talented and young players, when their price is relatively low, but towards the end of Beckham’s career, we saw many clubs willing to pay his wage demands because he brought more to a team than his footballing credentials – he brought media interest, football shirt/ticket sales, revenue through advertising and much more.
He’s a nice guy?
But what else has helped Beckham sustain his fame? One noticeable feature of Beckham is his personality. When we saw him crying after an English defeat, after running headless for 90 minutes, or spending much time and effort to bring the Olympics to London, we acknowledged he is a good guy and is passionate about bringing success. He has been able to replicate this passion in every aspect of his career. It is thus his personality and drive to be the best, on a very personable level, that makes him eclipse other great legends of the game.
Businesses will continue to sell ‘Brand Beckham’, even post retirement, because he is simply a great role-model for children, sport players, and parents alike.
Arise, Sir David.