Authentic Brands inks major David Beckham deal, footballer becomes ABG shareholder
It’s a busy time for Authentic Brands Group. On the same day as it announced its New Guards link-up for Reebok, it also revealed a major new strategic partnership with David Beckham.
And that partnership is a wide-ranging one with its importance being seen in the fact that the football star turned entrepreneur hasn’t only joined ABG’s entertainment division but has also becomes a shareholder of the group. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
The deal means that ABG will co-own and manage Beckham’s global brand that includes a diverse portfolio of brands and businesses. As well as his own branded product, Beckham also has big-name strategic partners including Adidas, Tudor, Maserati, EA Sports, Sands and Diageo.
He’s one of the world’s most famous sports stars and has stayed at the forefront of consumer minds even after the end of his football career. And that consumer awareness is hugely important to ABG. Beckham’s digital presence — with a following of more than 138 million — brings ABG’s total portfolio-wide social media following to more than 420 million.
Beckham joins the roster of ABG’s growing entertainment portfolio that now includes athletes and sports brands such as Muhammad Ali, Shaquille O’Neal and Sports Illustrated.
He and his management team will partner with the company to grow his brand through “strategic endorsements, innovative business models, compelling digital and media partnerships and new consumer products”.
ABG founder Jamie Salter called him “a superstar talent with an incredible global brand reach and a highly influential presence. And he added that “David and his team have built an enterprise that spans sports, entertainment, lifestyle and luxury, and we see significant opportunities to scale his brand and expand it into new verticals.”
Beckham himself also hailed ABG’s “innovative approach to global brand development” and the “shared vision [that] makes [it] the ideal strategic partner to help unlock the full potential of my brand and business”.
The US-based fast-growing company also said the link-up with Beckham “marks a definitive step in ABG’s global strategy to expand its corporate footprint, launch new business verticals and drive growth in key territories, including EMEA and APAC. As part of this next phase, ABG officially opens its European headquarters in London. The office will house the David Beckham team”.
And there’s more. ABG also becomes the largest shareholder in Studio 99, the integrated creative and production studio co-founded by Beckham in 2019. It has “a slate of documentary series in development and production for global platforms, including Netflix and Disney+, in addition to a commercial business generating content and creative marketing campaigns for a range of global brand clients”.
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