In every sport, there is a player who comes once in a lifetime and transcends the game like no one else before him. Muhammad Ali was that for boxing. Michael Jordan was it for basketball and then of course there is David Beckham in football.
David Beckham is the most popular name in football. The Englishman is the sport’s top endorser and has been consistently on the list of its top earners. But Becks wasn’t just a pretty face who made tons of marketing money.
Beckham played 20 football seasons and won 19 major trophies. He is the first English player to win league titles in four different countries: England, Spain, United States and France. Success seemed to follow Beckham everywhere. And with every ounce of success he achieved came a liter worth of endorsements.
In 2016, Forbes listed Beckham as the 9th highest earning athlete of all-time, with total career earnings of $730M. Although there are no official documents that would prove it, Beckham’s current estimated net worth is $350M.
David Beckham - I'm Coming Home | Best Goals Ever | HD
Photo: Daily Star
Beckham started his professional football career playing for Manchester United. He won 6 Premier League titles, 2 FA Cups and one UEFA Champions League title once before moving to Real Madrid for bounty of $39M for four years. In Spain, Beckham won the La Liga title in the last of his four years with the club. After his successful stints in the UK and Spain, Beckham made the bold and rich move to the United States. Not only did he earn big in the MLS, he made his mark in the brightest stage in the world: Hollywood. But even before Beckham came to America, he was already hauling a huge amount from endorsements.
Pepsi signed Beckham in 1998 and their relationship lasted 10 years. Beckham was reportedly paid $2.9M per annum After signing with Real Madrid in 2003, Beckham signed a deal with Adidas. The deal was said to have guaranteed Beckham $160.8M and a share of the profits from his own branded adidas gear. In 2004, Beckham signed a three year $50M deal with Gillette. The deal was the largest in British Advertising history at that time.
Conquering the Galaxy
In 2007, Beckham made headlines by signing with the Los Angeles Galaxy of the U.S. Major League Soccer. The deal was a reported $250M for five years but contrary to popular belief, the contract wasn't purely all salary. A scrutiny of the report says the $250M is in salary and commercial endorsements. Regardless of how it was broken down, Forbes reported that Beckham made $255M out of that deal.
Despite his departure, Beckham not only won the hearts of Galaxy and MLS fans, he helped grow the business side of the league. Beckham's first season with MLS was the first year that clubs were allowed to sell jersey sponsorships. The largest deal was of course between the L.A. Galaxy and Herbalife. In 2007, that deal was said to be between $3.5M to $5M. Herbalife and the Galaxy are still uniform partners until now.
MLS attendance per game Rose 50% after Beckham's debut. TV ratings for ESPN2 rose 25%. Incredibly, MLS jersey sales rose by 780%, thanks to some 300,000 Beckham jerseys sold. On the 10th anniversary of Beckham's arrival in Los Angeles last January 2017, MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced that MLS has 'doubled in size since '07'. Garber also said that MLS would not be where it is today has it not been for David Beckham.
PSG and Retirement
After his stint at MLS, Beckham signed a five month deal to play for French Ligue 1's Paris Saint Germain side. Beckham's estimated salary with PSG was around $1M per month. Beckham however opted to donate all of his salary to a local children's charity. That may sound nostalgic but it was a luxury for a man who at that time earned around $40M in endorsement deals with the likes of Samsung, Adidas, H&M, Burger King and Sainsbury. Four days after winning the Ligue 1 title, Beckham announced his retirement. His playing days were over but his earning power hardly affected.
In Beckham's first full year of retirement in 2014, he made more than he's ever made before in a single year. Beck's $75M haul in 2014 was 47% higher than his previous best of $51M in 2012. The reason behind the mammoth haul was the ever expanding Beckham Brand. Becks signed a deal with Jaguar in China and agreed to be an ambassador for the Chinese Super League. He also inked deals with China Auto Rental and Sands China, a division of Las Vegas Sands. Beckham and Manager Simon Fuller also made two huge business deals with beverage Gian Diageo and the Hong Kong-based Global Brands Group. One year later, Beckham once again landed at the #2 spot in Forbes highest earning retired athletes list. Beckham earned $65M in 2015, slightly lower than his previous year income but higher than many who are superstars in any sport.
The Beckham Businesses
David Beckham established the David Beckham Academy in 2005. The football school operated in London, United Kingdom and Los Angeles, California, USA. Unfortunately, the London campus closed after its lease expired in October 2009. The Los Angeles site also closed in late 2009.
David Beckham’s Footwork Productions firm netted Becks and additional $16M in 2015.
In 2014, Beckham set up a company called Beckham Brand Holdings as the holding company for His wife Victoria's fashion business and the licensing of David's name. A year later. The company declared pre-tax profit of $49.9M, 25% higher than the amount it filed during its maiden year. In 2015, Beckham, Fuller and Global Brands established a joint venture called Seven Global. According to its site, the company aims to continue the ‘development of all consumer product categories around David Beckham’.
David Beckham's next business venture is his biggest and most ambitious to date. When Beckham signed with the L.A. Galaxy, he was given the option to purchase a MLS expansion team at a discounted rate of $25M. Beckham exercised the right in 2014 and established Miami Beckham United to pursue his dream of owning a Major League Soccer team. Beckham's consortium includes Simon Fuller, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke and L.A. Dodgers owner Todd Boehly. The team is expected to join the league in 2019 although that is not final pending negotiations over stadium financing and location. Currently, the Beckham group is said to be closing in on deal to build their stadium in Miami-Dade.
Photo: The Telegraph
Dating back to his days with Manchester United, David Beckham has been a staunch supporter of the UNICEF. In 2005, he became goodwill ambassador of the UNICEF, focusing on sports development. During his 10th year as UNICEF ambassador, Beckham created the 7: The David Beckham UNICEF Fund to protect children in danger. He is also a supporter of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the ‘Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS’ campaign. Beckham and British tennis superstar Andy Murray launched the Malaria No More UK charity in 2005. In 2015, Beckham visited Cambodia to meet with children victimized by violence.
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