The Business Empire Of Football Superstar, David Beckham

David Beckham, a soccer star turned cultural icon, built a business empire with his entrepreneurial expertise across various fields.

David Beckham transitioned from a global soccer phenomenon to a cultural icon.

He is one of the most successful football players, and his business empire is just as remarkable as his soccer career. The former football star is not only famous for his free kicks and his impeccable fashion sense, but also for his entrepreneurial expertise.

Over the years, Beckham has built a portfolio of businesses that cut across fashion, sports and entertainment. He played for some of the best soccer teams around Europe, before moving to LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer (MLB).

Before officially retiring his football cleats in 2013, Beckham was already scoring off the pitch, securing deals with global brands, representing several organizations as an ambassador, and acquiring his own soccer team – all the while, being a great husband and a father.

Early Beginnings And Endorsements

Beckham’s early beginnings were humble. He was born into a middle-class family in Leytonstone, England on May 2, 1975.

In 1991, he joined the English soccer giants as a youngster. Under the mentorship of Sir Alex Ferguson, they were hugely successful, winning every tournament in which they competed.

David Beckham married Spice Girl member Victoria (née Adams); the union brought in a new fan base for the star, and contributed to his celebrity status beyond football. His earliest endorsement was with British hairstyling brand Brylcreem for $5 million in 1997, and he later put pen to paper with other brands.

While he excelled on the green pitch, his marketability soared, and he paved the way for soccer stars today as the first soccer player to garner global attention. His early endorsements laid the foundation for his future business success, making him a poster boy in advertising campaigns worldwide.

After an altercation with the management at Manchester United, Beckham moved to Spanish club Real Madrid, and signed a contract that saw him take home $19.8 million annually. In an interview with the club’s president, when asked why he brought in Beckham in 2003, he answered, “[Beckham] tripled revenue,” citing the player’s marketability.

Upon his arrival, Beckham signed a lifetime agreement with German sportswear brand Adidas, the biggest sponsorship deal in sports at the time. The deal was worth $160 million, and Beckham reportedly sold more products on his own than all of Adidas’ other clients combined.

In 2004, the Englishman inked a deal with American shaving company Gillette worth over $3 million annually. Around the same time, soft drink brand Pepsi acquired Beckham’s signature, too, and he was paid $2.9 million per year; he appeared in a famous ad featuring fellow soccer stars like Ronaldinho and Zidane.

Move To The United States, And Business

David Beckham’s move to MLS to play with LA Galaxy was considered a business maneuver; the decision brought him criticism. In the agreement to join the club, Beckham took a massive cut in salary, going from the $19 million he earned at Real Madrid to $6 million (due to the league’s salary cap).

However, he made a wise business choice by negotiating to receive a decent percentage of the club’s revenue – in that scenario, he got a cut of everything from ticket sales and sponsorships to every beer and hotdog sold on match days.

The deal proved to be ingenious on Beckham’s end as the club’s fan base tripled, which meant that the club’s piggy bank fattened as the club sold a record figure of over 250,000 shirts before his introduction.

At the league’s national level, Beckham made an even wiser business decision with MLS – he inserted a clause that guaranteed him the right to buy an MLS expansion team for just $25 million after he retired.

The soccer star was also the face of several global brands like Tudor, and Italian designer Emporio Armani, who paid him $24 million to represent them.

Current Business Empire

After retiring from soccer in 2013, David Beckham fully transitioned into a businessman. He reportedly earned $800 million as a player from his salary, sponsorship deals and the MLS agreement.

A year after retiring from football, he established DB Ventures, a firm that handles his entrepreneurial activities. According to reports, the former English international received dividends of $17 million in 2019 from DB Ventures.

Beckham launched his whiskey brand, Haig Club, and co-founded Studio 99, a content-production company. In 2018, Beckham decided to activate the clause he signed with MLS by buying a share in Inter Miami for $25 million.

He invested heavily in the club when he did the impossible – by acquiring the services of Argentine superstar Lionel Messi. Messi brought the club to global attention and helped them win their first trophy in 2023 – Inter Miami is projected to make $200 million in revenue by the end of 2024, an MLS record.

The only thing that feels better than making money is spending it; Beckham has a taste for art and cars. The Englishman boasts an art collection worth $44 million; this includes sculptures, paintings and portraits.

From his time at Manchester United, Beckham has always been an automobile enthusiast and has reportedly spent $3 million on luxury cars; his garage boasts a collection of cars like a Lamborghini Gallardo and a Rolls-Royce. He has also ventured into real estate; his property portfolio is worth an astounding $86 million, with developed projects in London, Dubai and Miami.

David Beckham’s journey from a young footballer to a global superstar and a successful businessman is a blueprint for youngsters on the lessons of perseverance and the ability to diversify interests. His impact on sports and fashion continues to grow, as he effectively continues to make a positive difference.

Credits: Uchenna Onyia / TheRichest

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