Saturday, February 18, 2006

Brand it like Beckham ...

The David Beckham brand is worth $375 million, Singapore's New Paper reported, with endorsements including adidas ($3 million per year), Pepsi ($5 m/y), Police ($1 m/y), Marks & Spencer ($1 m/y), Vodafone ($1 m/y), Gillette ($40 million for three years) and "that's not counting" the undisclosed amount he gets in Japan for endorsing products like biscuits and a health spa.

"The brand is exceptional and the potential is enormous. No other sportsman or woman has the brand placing or personality of Beckham," added John Williamson, director, Wolff Olins, a brand consultancy. Beckham's off-field earning power was a major factor in his $25 million transfer to Real Madrid from Manchester United in 2003.

Beck's metrosexual image goes down well in Asia, and the region generates a quarter of his endorsement earnings.

Part of Beckham's endorsement earnings goes into the coffers of Real Madrid - the club controls the image rights of its players and shares the revenue with them. Which makes his transfer fee a pittance - now dwarfed by the merchandising march made by Real in the past two seasons. Real, with international stars like Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Raul and Roberto Carlos, sell 60 percent of their shirts outside Spain. Five years ago, that figure was just 10 percent. And of all the Real Madrid shirts sold, more than half of them have Beckham's name on it.

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