David Beckham: A Legend and a Brand
When we talk about football, one can't deny the market influence and fashion statements footballers have set in these recent years. However, that wasn't always the case. There was a time when football's glamour was limited only to the pitch.
However, the game has grown faste off the pitch than on it. Be it Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, every football star has a market value in today's world, and clubs look to benefit from their player's market value, as it skyrockets the shirt sales and increases the club's brand value.
This outlandish link between football and fashion world might not have been possible without the existence of David Beckham - A man who redefined the limits of capitalisation on one's sole image.
Beckham's first step towards glamour
By the end of 1995, David Beckham had broken into the Manchester United's first team. As Beckham's PR Manager Alan Edwards recalls the events of a night in 1994,
"David launched into his vision for the future of football and it was mesmerising. It was one of those unusual moments that you get in a career when you realise you're sitting in the presence of some sort of greatness."
That evening, Beckham spoke about the women's game, about America being the next frontier and about standing up against racism and homophobia. He also asked Edwards for advice about a photo shoot.
"He was going to do Sunday Times Style and wanted an Elvis look, which for a footballer was unprecedented."
Edwards recalled how Beckham used to phone him regarding photo shoots, and it came as no surprise to him when Beckham started capitalising on his image soon after.
His beautifully sculpted face, with his charm & outlandish hairstyles, saw Beckham making strides outside the footballing world. His then world-record move to Real Madrid and insane free-kick abilities only contributed to his ever growing fame.
Victoria Beckham's Contribution to his fame
When people talk about Victoria Beckham, they claim that she enjoyed her popularity because of her husband, but that wasn't exactly the case. By the time Beckham and Victoria met, Victoria had already made a name for herself after being a part of Spicegirls, one of the world's top pop groups at the time.
Their association not only magnified his celebrity image but also nurtured his wardrobe. They both helped each other grow and were deemed to be a 'power couple in the making'.
Twenty-one years later, Beckham, his wife, Victoria, and their four children are estimated to be worth £470 million and counting, making the family over £130m wealthier than the Queen.
Heights of his fame
The heights of his fame can be validated best by the fact that
"A recent documentary showed, it takes a trip into the depths of the Amazon rainforest to find people who don't know Beckham's face."
When GQ asked the designer Tommy Hilfiger to define Beckham's status in the fashion industry, his answer was unequivocal:
"He is the men's fashion icon of today, undoubtedly No1."
The fact that
"He is a triumph of consumer capitalism. In Bangkok, his image actually appears alongside the Buddha at the Wat Pariwas temple."
shows the extent of his fame on a global level.
In March 2015, Beckham had the third highest social media rank in the world among sportspeople, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, with over 52 million Facebook fans.
When Chinese Super League went into deep waters with corruption scandals, they approached David Beckham to represent the League after the mess was dealt with. The move proved beneficial for both parties as David Beckham's name gave the league its much-needed media attention, while Beckham expanded his brand into China.
David Beckham's Endorsement Deals & Brands
The name 'Beckham' in itself is more of a brand today, and with the couple only working towards making it even bigger, the name is bound to see reach even further than it already has.
David Beckham is the most sought out person by brands looking for exposure, be it hair Saloons, Fashion designers or anyone from the fashion industry. One example is a line of aftershave and fragrances called David Beckham Instinct.
The Beckhams were paid $13.7 million in 2007 to launch this fragrance line in the U.S. Beckham's $130 million lifetime deal with Adidas, whose boots he wore throughout his lucrative career, made him one of the richest footballers on the planet.
His deals with Pepsi Co. and Walt Disney are among other deals which contributed to his massive fortune.
During his playing career (which ended in May 2013), Beckham generated an estimated £1 billion in shirt and boot sales. In 2006, while Beckham played for Real Madrid, Lloyd's of London insured his legs for £100 million.
What does their future look like?
The Beckham brand is in no mood to stop anytime soon, and with 4 gorgeous kids in line to lead the brand even further, there is no denying the ever improving brand will get even better in the future. His kids are coming of age and if they can have even half the fame that their parents enjoy, the future is certainly bright for them.