March 20th, 2013
10:18 AM ET

The secret behind 'Brand Beckham' ...

David Beckham's career maybe in its twilight but he is still a world beater in terms of earnings. (Getty Images).
David Beckham's career maybe in its twilight but he is still a world beater in terms of earnings. (Getty Images).

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David Beckham may be coming to the end of his career but he is still a man who can top a league. France Football magazine recently published its list ranking the world’s richest footballers and according to the publication the midfielder earned over $46 million last year, more than the two maestros considered by most fans to be the best players on the planet: Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Few soccer superstars can boast the business clout of "Brand Beckham", but how has the former England captain been able to hold on to his appeal? How is he still making more money in endorsements as a 37-year-old player past his prime, than the finest footballers of the current generation?

After pondering this phenomenon, two key reasons seem unavoidable when trying to explain the financial success of the most marketable player in the world. The first is image. They say in today’s world, image is everything, and it has certainly been a huge part of this man’s success.

Everyone who has worked with Beckham and for Beckham deserves a lot of credit for the nurture given to his career since he played his first match for Manchester United back in 1993.

Highs and lows have been navigated with aplomb throughout his career by a PR machine that never stops turning. The highs were accentuated and the lows were absorbed. This is a man who always said the right thing at the right time. And you know what? He always looks pretty good when he is saying it too.

A concrete example of how Beckham and his PR team protected his image against adversity was back in the 2006/2007 season, when Becks was dropped from Real Madrid's first team by Fabio Capello. A few days later, the club decided it was not going to renew his contract and it forced the England midfielder to find a new team.

He did, signing with the Los Angeles Galaxy in January of 2007, only to hear Real coach Capello announce later that month that he would never play for the Spanish giants again. Now a player of his profile and caliber could have easily kicked up a fuss. He could have protested publicly and demanded more respect, probably rightly so. But he kept quiet and kept working hard. Beckham eventually proved he deserved another chance and played a key role in Real’s run to win the Spanish League crown.

That leads me to the second reason why Beckham is still so popular and so marketable. He is a winner. He won trophies at Manchester United, Real Madrid and L.A. and the odds are he will also win titles at Paris Saint-Germain. So who wouldn’t want to be associated with a winner? That is exactly why so many brands pay so much money to have their products around his face and on his body.

Beckham is a prized asset to have on the pitch and PSG will profit from his presence at the Parc des Princes both in football and financial terms. Don’t be surprised if he sticks around the City of Light for another season. After all, there is silverware to be won, and money to be made.

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soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Anthony

    I also think that the fact that he's married to a former spice girl has helped raise his profile as well. Celebs who are married to other high profile celebs seem to benefit from the union

    March 20, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Reply
  2. seymourglass26

    It was a good decision to sign him. His endurance has always been one of his greatest assets, so I'm not surprised to see him still useful, and not just a sideshow. Also, he's a veteran of many leagues, so that can't hurt the rookies, especially now that he seems a little less wild than his younger self.

    March 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  3. William Amsden

    Mr. Beckham is clearly able to rise above the daily pettiness where most of us reside. I think he understands that his legacy will be more than what he has done on the pitch. That has made him a gentleman, a role model, and an awesome asset for any organization or brand that he chooses to represent. I hope he continues to support good causes.

    March 20, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  4. Noel

    He couldn't even make the London Olympic team. Why do teams keep signing him when he is not that skilled of an athlete anymore?

    March 20, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  5. Aafaag ibrahim

    Bend like Bekham, so imagine....... not only that but respecting to other players and sustaining the sports discipline.
    Here is another story tiny maldivian has a player called ALI ASHFAQ, who scored five goals in one game after LIONEL MESSI........................lets WATCH it and judge about this player.

    March 20, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Reply
  6. Shawn

    Excuse me???? A spice girl has raised his profile? Please. It was Beckham who raised the profile of Victoria.

    March 20, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Reply
  7. Shawn

    I live in Madrid. I have seen Beckham play many times, close up. There is not one player who works harder than he does. His talent has not decreased, quite the opposite – as he ages he finds ways to redefine his game which keeps him playing with the top teams in the world. His reputation is solidified by his gracious nature. He was always the last one of the pitch. Every match, he went to each of the four corners of the pitch to thank the fans. Class act, he deserves every penny.

    March 20, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  8. Dobrin Iliev

    Considered by many as a regular player, I believe he was one of the best midfielders of his generation. His vision and awareness, his shoot and pass were great.
    His million dollars contracts are just consequense of his skills.

    March 20, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  9. michelle rogers

    The reason Beckham has been such a success off the field is down to the fact that he broke taboo's as a footballer. Instead of the usual dull macho guys that usually represent football, he even as a very young man was seen wearing a skirt .The word metrosexual was invented for him. It wasn't as you suggested because he was just well behaved or has good marketing, Beckham gave guys a different version of manhood and also actually how to be a great dad.

    March 20, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Reply
  10. Doc Johnnie

    The simple answer is " 'cos everyone likes a thickie who makes good ". To be honest he actually seems one of the very very few famous people who appreciates who and what he really is. Well done to him and his grounded, sensible attitude.

    March 21, 2013 at 1:21 am | Reply
  11. Yavin

    The key reason why Beckham is still popular and successful is that he is a one- woman man and loves his family. He does not smoke, drink, womanize or use swear words. Humans like this sort of heroes.

    March 21, 2013 at 1:56 am | Reply
  12. travisisle

    Yes it was the woman behind the man. He was a skinny geek with great talent before Victoria got a hold of him with the help of Elton John and David Furnesh.. The rest they say is lucrative history.

    March 21, 2013 at 3:02 am | Reply
  13. Erasmus Clarke

    Beckham is indeed a winner and importantly a humanitarian

    March 21, 2013 at 9:49 am | Reply
  14. Jocho Johnson

    Popular because the ladies like him, for me he is just a guy who is a good midfielder for his age and plays the long ball well

    March 21, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  15. stormyparis

    because he is cute, and doesn't hesitate to drop trou.

    March 21, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  16. Prakash Raj lamichhane

    I defiantly agree with Mr.pinto..he is hear today because of disciplined and hunger to succeed.But now a days people treat him as a marketing assects not as match winner.
    I am a fan of Beckham because of only the football he played and win the match for country and club day in, day out not because of anything else.Even is 37 still a class footballer and can make a big difference when he is in the football peach.I love... to see him play world cup in Brazil.

    March 21, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Reply

    i to see he play for England in 2014 world cup

    March 22, 2013 at 2:07 am | Reply
  18. hussein

    the thing that makes beckham stronger and it will continue makes him live longer is that he is not alcoholic or a drug taker,,,, live longer beckham i love you god bless you

    March 22, 2013 at 8:51 am | Reply
  19. Tuffymacca

    Beckham might have amassed 115 Caps with England but he never won nor achieved anything with hapless England.I still believe that Beckham like Rooney is overrated,overpaid& overhyped by the UK Press mostly.

    March 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  20. SLY

    Beckham is not overrated by the UK press and has achieved his status because of the celebrity wife he got married to.

    Beckham has moved from England to Spain to USA and now to France. If he has been overrated or over hyped by the UK press, he wouldn't have been able to survive the pressure in these other countries since they are not UK countries. Been over paid is just another wrong word to qualify a man whose brand has brought gains to clubs even outside the field of play. Clubs go for him because of what they will gain outside the field not inside. As for him marrying a celebrity, please not that Beckham is a bigger brand that the so called Spice girl he got married to. Anywhere he goes nobody remember the Spice girl buy the Becks man. Beckham is a brand that could be compared to the brand Jordan who is still making it big long after retirement.

    April 11, 2013 at 10:04 am | Reply
  21. chetotricks

    Beckham is definitely one of the greatest footballers of all time and one of my favorite players on earth. He has earned his PR by proving his worth during his highs and lows. Thank you for sharing this awesome post.

    April 17, 2013 at 7:28 am | Reply
  22. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    English footballer David Beckham is a born winner. Nice article Senhor by Pedro.

    April 20, 2013 at 6:40 am | Reply

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