While Zidane took the natural footballer’s route into coaching, English footballing icon David Beckham has blazed a trail into the business world. Evan Planchon explains how in Calling the Shots.
The living legend that evolved under the leadership of Sir Alex Ferguson, alongside the famous Manchester “Class of 1992”, has not only proven his worth on the football pitch, but also his grand potential as an investor and owner. The former English captain netted a total of 93 goals while playing for world-class outfits such as Manchester United; Spanish giants Real Madrid alongside Zidane; LA Galaxy; and Paris Saint-Germain, and has since forged a path into the world of business after retiring from football in 2013.
Today, the Beckham brand is worth well over $500 million after he made waves across a multitude of industries that has made the family richer than the Queen of England.
A Multi-Industry Tsunami
In addition to the astonishing profits generated by his reputed fashion designer wife Victoria Beckham and modeling sons, Beckham has generated over $75 million in revenues in 2015; ranking him second behind Michael Jordan on Forbes’ Highest-Paid Retired Athletes List.
The player that revolutionized English football turned his image into a global lifestyle brand after becoming the ambassador for H&M’s underwear line and Belstaff’s clothing line. However, Beckham’s influence has gone beyond just clothing after he became the official brand ambassador for Haig Club, the whisky which took Beckham all over the world, including Vietnam, during an extensive marketing campaign.
Beckham’s luxurious brand endorsements are not a new concept for the former football superstar that generated astonishing sums from multiple global brands during his playing career.
Beckham was strategically chosen to represent sporting goods giants Adidas to aid in the supremacy fight against Nike, to the point where the English player received waves of criticisms after rumors that his move to Spanish Giants Real Madrid was a commercial move rather than a football transfer. The rumors were rapidly put away after the player showed his unique, trademark vision on the pitch.
The American Dream
After taking the fashion and clothing industry by storm and establishing his brand image on a global scale, Beckham decided to return to his endless passion for football by becoming the owner of the upcoming Miami football team that will compete in the rapidly-evolving and lucrative Major League Soccer (MLS).
The Miami franchise was bought by majority owner David Beckham alongside his business partners in an attempt to attract talented players from major football leagues in Europe and make the MLS more competitive alongside the New York and LA Galaxy franchises.
The franchise was bought at an estimated price of $25 million and is currently under negotiation concerning stadium financing and location. The team’s name is expected to be “Miami Vice” and is attracting numerous investors after rumors that Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo along other European talents was interested in joining Beckham’s franchise before their retirement.
Before putting an end to his professional career, David Beckham embarked into the city of Los Angeles in 2007 to play for the LA Galaxy. The transfer was a five-year contract worth $32.5 million and made global sport media as Beckham was one of the first European talents to bring their skills to the land of the “American Dream”. After scoring 19 goals for the LA Galaxy, Beckham ended his contract and returned to Europe to play for Paris Saint-Germain for one year before announcing his official retirement.
It’s one thing I like about America – they respect the sportsman. They put them up on a pedestal. They don’t try to knock them down. And that’s a great thing, to be respected by the whole country.
However, Beckham’s contract with the LA Galaxy included a very unique and special clause. Beckham was given the option of buying an MLS expansion franchise in any market except New York City at the fixed price of $25 million whenever he stopped playing in the league; which he eventually did after buying the ownership of the Miami franchise. Beckham was always grateful to the American people that welcomed him and supported him throughout the years; making it evident that Beckham did not choose to build his upcoming team in America by chance.
David Beckham has not only proven that he is a unique player on the pitch, but also a great business mind. He has turned his passion for football and sports into his own business; supported by his relentless work ethic and vision.
From being a global brand’s ambassador to becoming the CEO of a promising MLS franchise, David Beckham is a sports legend to keep an eye on this year.
He has successfully turned the United States into a soccer-crazy nation and I am very excited to see how successful his football team will become.