The Final Days of Brand Beckham –
Is there still life left in David Beckham brand?
David Beckham is one of the world’s most celebrated footballers and he has earnings of around £12 million per year. Of that only a portion comes from his wages at soccer club Real Madrid, while the rest comes by the way of lucrative endorsement contracts. He is a marketing phenomenon, endorsing several products for millions of pounds ranging from mobile phones to soft drinks to football boots. Nothing could go wrong for the Beckham brand as he was the England captain, had a celebrity wife, a millionaire lifestyle, a fashion icon, and was perceived as a loyal, happy family man – the perfect role model. However in April 2004, the Sunday tabloid newspaper, the “News of the World” broke the story that shocked the world and became a media sensation. David Beckham the world’s most famous footballer/celebrity/family man had an alleged extra martial affair with his former personal assistant Rebecca Loos. This news sent shockwaves around the world, especially in the boardrooms of some large multinationals that had invested millions in the Beckham brand, cultivating its image into one of the most lucrative sports marketing properties in the world.
Beckham as a brand has had its fair share of highs and lows. A player can one minute be idolised by a nation for scoring or vilified for missing two penalties. At a young age the footballer had a prestigious talent. Back in 1995, he entered into the public mindset, with probably one of the greatest goals seen in the English football, where he lobbed a goalkeeper from the half way line, scoring a wonder goal that will always be remembered. He cemented his position in the Manchester Untied team, scoring spectacular goals and setting up brilliant crosses for their strikers. His profile was on the rise. Having a celebrity wife, former spice girl “Posh Spice”, boosted his celebrity status even further. He gained English caps, and was regarded as a rising English football superstar. During the 1998 World Cup in France however his image took a battering, when he was sent off during a crucial match against England’s footballing nemesis, Argentina. In a moment of petulance, he kicked out at an opponent and was sent off. Beckham was blamed by an entire nation for losing the match, and he was vilified in the media for his actions. The Beckham brand had reached its nadir.
Following a slow and steady redemption, he won back the support of fans through his subsequent displays for Manchester Untied and England. His superstardom reached a zenith, when he scored a spectacular goal against Greece, in the final seconds of the match, to secure World Cup qualification for England. He was now the nation’s hero once again. The Beckham brand was established not only through his footballing prowess, but also through his celebrity lifestyle, the image of being a family man and his model looks. Men saw him as an excellent footballer, whilst women saw him also as a glamorous celebrity and quiet family man. The world’s media had a veracious appetite for all things Beckham, especially with his marriage to Victoria Adams, aka “Posh Spice”, earning the couple the moniker “Posh & Becks” which has entered the modern lexicon. Interest in the couple grew from when they began dating. Their plush wedding in an Irish castle, earned the couple fame for its extravagance. The couple famously sat in large royal chairs during the event, allowing the media to make inferences that the couple were indeed the “new” British royalty. Celebrity magazines and tabloid newspapers were filled to the brim with stories relating to the couple and their lifestyles.
Unlike other footballers, David Beckham benefited from huge awareness levels through the massive levels of exposure he gained in the media by posing for fashion shoots, giving pictorial features in celebrity...