Case Code : SCMKTG071
Publication date :2005
Subject : Subject :Marketing
Industry :Media & Entertainment
Length : 12 Pages
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.
Questions for Discussion:
1. David Beckham was one of the most successful endorsers in the late 1990s and the early 21st century. What were the reasons for Beckham's success as an endorser? What values did he signify as a brand and what were the advantages that the companies who used him obtained? Answer with special reference to Beckham's popularity in the Far East.
2. Real Madrid paid a huge price to acquire Beckham. However the club was confident of recovering the amount it paid within a short period by cashing in on Beckham's appeal. How did Real Madrid stand to benefit through the acquisition of Beckham? Was the price it paid for him justified?
3. Celebrity Endorsements were the biggest marketing trend in the early 21st century. Discuss the phenomenon of celebrity endorsements. What are the implications of using people as brands? What are the advantages and disadvantages experienced by the company as well as the celebrity?
David Beckham, soccer stars,1990, ability, score, free kicks, good looks, admirers, Europe, Asia, endorse products, important, companies, middle class parents, David Beckham, football, childhood, playing professionally, Manchester United, signature free kicks, curve the ball, misleading defenders, goal keepers, Beckham, Spice Girl, Victoria Adams, UK, tabloid coverage, Vodafone, Adidas, Pepsi, Brylcreem, Mark Spencer, 200 million pounds, 2003
*Note : This case is a simplified version of a longer case study, and is intended for learners for whom English is a foreign language. The longer version of this case study (MKTG077) is available at: http://www.icmrindia.org/casestudies/catalogue/Marketing/MKTG077.htm