BRAND IT LIKE BECKHAM
Thursday, March 04, 2004
David Beckham is now such a celebrity colossus he has been turned into a logo for adidas.
|Becks stands proudly aside his logo
The sports gear giant, which sponsors the England captain, unveiled the logo today; an abstract illustration of Beckham characteristically launching a free kick.
Adidas also announced it had agreed an extension to the midfield player's contract until 2008, guaranteeing them use of his image for another four years and throughout the 2006 World Cup in the sports company's home country: Germany.
Beckham's ability to bend free kicks around defensive walls and past straining goalkeepers into the back of the net is perhaps the first case of art imitating life.
He did it regularly for Manchester United before moving recently to Real Madrid, in Spain.
At an extravagant launch in Germany today, Beckham entered via a darkened door through spectacular lights and dry ice silhouetted by his cool, sharp black suit.
"The logo is totally me and something that people can relate to," he said after the entrance, showing an unusual lack of modesty about the design's inspiration.
"The image of me taking a free kick is world renowned and instantly recognisable. I am proud to have worked with adidas to develop it."
The terms of Beckham's new deal yet to been disclosed, but you could bet his earnings the guarantee of a multi-million-dollar cash boost for the 28-year-old.
adidas said the logo was designed to catch the angle of Beckham's body as he steps into his free kicks, something that is familiar to many soccer fans around the world, and feared by most defences
"He's a perfect fit for our brand," said adidas chief Herbert Hainer.
|Becks and 'Becks'
"We'll be using the new logo across our business for many years to come. David's passion and commitment make him one of the fiercest competitors and most exciting players in the game today."
adidas has signed other prominent athletic celebrities to pitch its products, including Muhammad Ali and his boxing daughter Laila, NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady, of the Orlando Magic, and Beckham's Real teammate and France star Zinedine Zidane.
Many of them appear in a new television commercial - including Australia's "superfish" Ian Thorpe - that puts them on a training run with Ali in his younger days via the use of digital technology.
Arguably no other in the world, though, commands as much power as Beckham, whose family fortune with wife Victoria is reportedly worth close to £100 million ($244 million).
So rich are the Beckhams, in fact, that they recently signed up for the services of Cazenove - stockbrokers to none other than the Queen - to manage their enormous wealth.
It is fair to say the bulk of the wealth comes from David's ability not only to kick on-field goals, but an ever-growing list of sponsorship scores as well, including contracts for modelling, mobile phones, and more.
Wife Victoria, meanwhile, has struggled to pick up her ailing pop career since leaving the Spice Girls, her latest flop a DVD that went on sale last week, selling barely more than 7000 copies.
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