Case 4.9 The 'David Beckham' Brand (ICFAI)

Essay by p.proserpi@alice.itUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, September 2006

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David Beckham was one of the most popular soccer stars in the late 1990s and the early 21st century. His amazing ability to score from free kicks coupled with his good looks earned him a lot of admirers in Europe and Asia. He was also one of the most sought after celebrities to endorse products and a number of important companies vied to sign him on for endorsements. Born of middle class parents, David Beckham was obsessed with football from his childhood and always dreamed of playing professionally. He was signed up by Manchester United, one of the most popular football clubs in Europe, first as a trainee and later, as a full fledged member of the club. Beckham quickly made a name for himself, with his signature free kicks where he had the ability to curve the ball in the air towards the goal, misleading defenders and goal keepers.

Beckham and his wife, Spice Girl Victoria Adams were fashion icons in the UK and merited a lot of tabloid coverage. They were also sought after endorsers of a number of products. Beckham had endorsement deals with companies like Vodafone, Adidas, Pepsi, Brylcreem and Mark and Spencer's besides some Japanese companies. Analysts estimated the value of his brand to be worth over 200 million pounds. In 2003, when Manchester United sold Beckham to Real Madrid, a Spanish club, it created a furor among advertisers as well as football fans. Analysts said that Real Madrid's purchase of him was motivated more by his commercial appeal than his football skills. The move had great implications for the concerned clubs, Beckham, as well as all his sponsors.


The teaching objectives of the case are:

* To understand the reasons behind the trend of using celebrities to...